House chamber mask mandate lifted and Republicans rejoice

House chamber mask mandate lifted and Republicans rejoice


House lawmakers will no longer need to mask up when heading to the floor to cast votes if they are vaccinated.

Revised coronavirus pandemic guidance from Congress’s Attending Physician Brian P. Monahan issued Friday said that fully vaccinated people may be maskless on the House floor, while people who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to wear a mask.

The guidance marks a change from last month, when the House kept its mask mandates in the chamber despite the Senate floor and other parts of the Capitol turning into masks-optional spaces. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said the face-covering requirement needed to stay in place because not all Republican lawmakers were fully vaccinated.

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According to a senior Democratic aide, about 85% of lawmakers are now fully vaccinated, and a decrease in community transmission of the virus led to the announcement.

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