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Governor’s office releases new mask and vaccine guidance

May 26, 2021 | Entertainment Reopening Guide, Hotel COVID-19 Operations Guide, Reopening 2021, Restaurant Reopening Guide

On May 21, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office released new guidance for masks and vaccines.

The new guidance for employees includes:

  • Businesses may require vaccination as a condition of employment, unless doing so would be otherwise prohibited by state or federal law (EEOC, ADA, medical exemptions, etc.)
  • Employers may choose to continue masking and social distancing their employees, regardless of the employees’ vaccination status
  • Fully vaccinated employees may remove their facial coverings and discontinue social distancing if they have been fully vaccinated

Evidence of vaccination status can be:

  • Vaccination cards or records—The employer is not required to make a copy
  • Attestation—The employee can sign a document attesting that they are fully vaccinated. Employers should keep the document and present to L&I upon request
  • Log system—Employers may keep a logbook of the employee’s name and the method the employer used to confirm the employee’s status and present to L&I upon request.

For customers or guests:

  • Customers or guests are required to wear face coverings if they are not fully vaccinated or otherwise exempt
  • Businesses must post signage prominently at every entrance informing guests of mask requirements
  • Businesses may choose to assume a customer is fully vaccinated if they are not wearing a face covering and refrain from asking
  • Businesses may choose to ask a mask-free customer if they are vaccinated or otherwise exempt from wearing a mask. The business may ask for proof of vaccination status or take the customer’s word for it
  • If the customer is not fully vaccinated but otherwise exempt, the business may offer alternative accommodations, such as curbside pickup. They can also allow the customer entry
  • If a customer who is not wearing a mask, refuses to state whether they are exempt or declines to provide proof of vaccination status, the business must turn the customer away, unless that poses a danger to staff and your other guests

Click here to read the complete guidance from L&I.