Exclusive-JPMorgan tells unvaccinated Manhattan staff to work from home

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NEW YORK (Reuters) -JPMorgan Chase & Co on Wednesday instructed unvaccinated staff in Manhattan to work from home, a further sign that banks and other financial firms are tightening protocols in the wake of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The U.S. bank, one of the most aggressive in bringing employees back to the office, had previously allowed unvaccinated staff to work in its Manhattan offices provided they were tested twice a week.

In a memo to staff seen by Reuters, the bank urged unvaccinated staff to get vaccinated and for those vaccinated to get booster shots. It also relaxed mask requirements for vaccinated staff working in its Manhattan offices.

“We continue to agree with health authorities that being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe — especially as we face the winter months and a new variant — so please consider getting vaccinated if you aren’t already, and getting your booster if you are,” the memo said.

Vaccinated staff will now have to wear masks only when walking through lobbies, riding in elevators and in cafés when not eating, the memo said.