Lawmakers in the House of Representatives who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face masks or socially distance themselves from others while on the chamber floor or in committee hearings.
The announcement came on Friday from Brian Monahan, Congress’s attending physician. In a memo, Monahan said mask wearing would be discretionary for the vaccinated Congress members and staff, but required for those who are unvaccinated.
“The decrease of community transmission and the increase in the rate of vaccine led to this announcement,” a senior Democratic aide said. “Capitol Hill complex is at 85 percent vaccination rate which is extremely high.”
Members of Congress were among the first with access to the vaccines, but a small group of Republicans have protested the mask mandate and refused to divulge their vaccination status, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Chip Roy, and Lauren Boebert. The fines for breaking the mask mandate were $500 for a first offense and $2,500 for a second offense.
Greene shared a video of herself last month shredding a letter received from Speaker Pelosi regarding the mask mandates.