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Disney requiring US employees to be vaccinated against virus

This undated photo provided by Walt Disney World shows Disney characters at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Walt Disney World is planning an 18-month celebration in honor of its 50th anniversary, starting in October 2021. Disney announced Tuesday, June 22 that all four parks at the resort will take part in The Worlds Most Magical Celebration." (Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World via AP)
This undated photo provided by Walt Disney World shows Disney characters at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Walt Disney World is planning an 18-month celebration in honor of its 50th anniversary, starting in October 2021. Disney announced Tuesday, June 22 that all four parks at the resort will take part in The Worlds Most Magical Celebration." (Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World via AP)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Walt Disney Company has joined other large companies in requiring employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The company said in a statement Friday that it will be requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. who work on site to be fully vaccinated. The statement said employees who aren’t already vaccinated will have 60 days to do so and that those still working from home will need to show proof of vaccination before returning. Disney said it was discussing the vaccine requirements with the union, and added that all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before starting work at the company.

“Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees,” the statement said.

The announcement comes days after the federal Centers for Disease Control changed course on masking guidelines, saying that agency had received new information showing the delta variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people.

New cases and hospitalizations are soaring in Florida, which has again turned into the epicenter of the pandemic concentrating one fifth of the country's new cases.

Disney announced earlier this week that guests at U.S. theme parks would again be required to wear masks indoors.