U.S. automakers reinstate mask mandates due to Delta variant

Ford started resuming vehicle production in the U.S. on May 18, 2020 with new coronavirus safety protocols such as health assessments, personal protective equipment and facility modifications to increase social distancing.


DETROIT – The United Auto Workers and Detroit automakers are reinstating a nationwide mask mandate at all facilities in response to the rapidly spreading delta variant of the coronavirus.

General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) said in a joint statement with the union that the move is in response to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) change in Covid guidance for masks for fully vaccinated people.

The new mask mandate will go into effect Wednesday for all plants, offices and warehouses, regardless of vaccination status. It comes more than a month after the companies and union made face masks optional for employees who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“While we know that masks can be uncomfortable, the spread of the delta variant and recent data outlining the alarmingly high rate of transmission among those unvaccinated is a serious health threat,” the companies and union said in a release.

Officials said they will “continue to closely monitor this situation to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our families, members and employees safe.”

The UAW has not released an estimate of how many of its roughly 153,000 members with the Detroit automakers have been vaccinated.

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