Face Mask Requirements: Latest from CDC, Gov. Abbott And What This Means For Your Dealership

The CDC announced on Thursday May 13, 2021 that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without . . . 

The CDC announced on Thursday May 13, 2021 that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

What does this guidance by the CDC mean for your dealership? It means simply the CDC thinks the risk of a vaccinated person transmitting COVID is low enough to not require a mask; however, your risk tolerance may be different than that of the CDC and the CDC recognizes this by clearly stating fully vaccinated people must follow local business rules and workplace guidance. Or put more simply, they have said as a business owner it is your choice to make unless there is another law requiring it. There is no federal or Texas law requiring masks at this time. There was never a federal mandate and the Texas mask mandate ended March 10. On Tuesday May 18, 2021 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order banning local governments from requiring face masks after 11:59 p.m. on May 21, 2021.

So, the question becomes what policy should your dealership implement regarding masks? Unfortunately, this is not an easy question as everyone has a different level of risk tolerance. Several Fortune 500 companies have tackled this question and come up with three different answers—those answers are:
1. Continue to require vaccinated people to wear masks;
2. Allow vaccinated customers to not wear masks, but still require employees to wear masks; and
3. Allow both vaccinated customers and employees to not wear masks.

TIADA does not believe one of these solutions is better than the other in every circumstance. If you do decide to allow vaccinated people to not wear masks, TIADA recommends you use the honor system to avoid any possible liability from asking medical questions.

In making your decision, TIADA recommends considering federal and state guidance from health officials, including the CDC, and the level of risk tolerance of yourself, your employees, and your customers. Should you decide to require masks or not require them, TIADA recommends you clearly post your policy at the entrance of your door and apply it uniformly.


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