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GM, Toyota worker to maintain masks in Texas even when state removes mandate

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The car manufacturer Toyota logo can be seen on a car in France

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(Reuters) – General Motors (NYSE 🙂 and Toyota Motor (NYSE 🙂 employees in Texas will continue to wear face masks at work, automakers said Tuesday, even though the state has lifted most of its coronavirus-related restrictions so companies will be back to full capacity starting next week.

Japanese automaker Toyota, which has its US headquarters and factory in Texas, said it is considering Governor Greg Abbott's move to withdraw the mask mandate and is not considering any immediate changes.

Abbott's Executive Order removes all mask requirements nationwide and prohibits any local jurisdiction from penalizing residents for not wearing face covering.

"The early reading is – no change for us," said Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin.

Toyota's San Antonio plant builds full-size pickups. The company employs around 7,000 people in Texas, 4,400 of them at Plano's headquarters.

GM, which employs around 13,500 people in Texas, said it will also maintain the status quo in the state for employees who wear masks.

"We will maintain our COVID-19 security protocols to ensure that we continue to protect our employees," said GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey.

"It is a mistake to loosen sensible safety protocols like wearing masks," said Jason Brewer, vice president of communications and state affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association's Role of Enforcement Policy that continues to be recommended by the CDC and other public health advocates become. "

As of Monday, 35 states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will require residents to wear face masks in public. Iowa, Mississippi, Montana and North Dakota have lifted mask orders imposed last year.

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