Disney World near Orlando, Florida, operated by Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), has put its COVID-19 vaccination mandate on hold, a spokesperson said on Saturday.
The move comes amid the Biden administration’s workplace COVID-19 vaccine rule, which requires businesses with at least 100 employees to require staff get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly and wear a face covering at work.
Local TV station Fox 35 was first to report the news, citing a cast member at the resort complex.
A Disney spokesperson had earlier told Reuters by email: “We believe that our approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one as we have continued to focus on the safety and well-being of our Cast Members and Guests.”
“At this point, more than 90% of active Florida-based Cast Members have already verified that they are fully vaccinated,” the spokesperson added.
Executives of Walt Disney Co, along with United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) and others, met with White House officials last month to discuss President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement plan for private-sector workers, amid concerns it could worsen labor shortages and supply-chain woes.
Additionally, mandates for vaccines in America are highly controversial. While supporters claim they help to stop the coronavirus pandemic that has been going on for nearly two years, opponents say they undermine the U.S Constitution and limit individual freedom.
Biden imposed the requirement in September, telling Americans that “our patience is wearing thin” with those refusing to get inoculated.
Walt Disney Co. had mandated vaccination for its employees on site, salaried or non-union hours, on July 30, as the Delta COVID-19 strain of highly infectious Delta COVID-19 led to a rise in cases.