General Motors and Toyota Motor employees in Texas will keep face masks on at work, the automakers said on Tuesday, even as the U.S. state lifted most of its coronavirus-related restrictions allowing businesses to reopen at full capacity as of next week.
Japanese carmaker Toyota, which has its U.S. headquarters and a factory in Texas, said it was looking into the move by Governor Greg Abbott to roll back the mask mandate, and it doesn’t contemplate any immediate changes.
Abbott’s executive order lifts all mask requirements statewide and forbids any local jurisdiction from penalizing residents for not wearing a face covering.
“The early read is – no change for us,” Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin said.
Toyota’s plant in San Antonio builds full-size pickup trucks. The company has about 7,000 employees in Texas, including 4,400 at its Plano headquarters.
GM, which employs about 13,500 people in Texas, said it would also maintain status quo in the state, with regards to its employees wearing masks.
“We’ll keep our COVID safety protocols in place to ensure we continue to protect our employees,” GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey said.
As of Monday, 35 U.S. states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, mandate that residents wear face masks in public. Iowa, Mississippi, Montana and North Dakota have lifted mask orders imposed last year.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)