(FOX BUSINESS) AMC, Regal, and Cinemark will no longer require fully vaccinated guests to wear face masks.
The movie chains' guidelines are in line with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) updated recommendations: Masks are optional for vaccinated individuals, while they are "strongly encouraged" for everyone else.
For patrons who are not vaccinated, masks can be removed while eating and drinking. Employees will still be required to wear a mask. The theater chains will also continue to practice coronavirus safety measures including social distancing and reduced capacity.
In a statement obtained by Variety, AMC said: "Consistent with the latest CDC guidance and following consultation with public health experts, AMC Theatres guests who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear face coverings at AMC locations, unless it is mandated by state or local ordinances."
It continued, "Guests who are not fully vaccinated are asked to continue wearing masks. All other aspects of the AMC Safe & Clean policies and procedures, including seat blocking, remain in place at this time."
Meanwhile, Regal's website regarding face masks, states that under the recent CDC guidance "vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or socially distance" and "the movie theatre industry will continue to meet or exceed state and local public health guidelines.
"Masks will not be required unless mandated by state and local guidelines," it added. "Where masks are mandated, they can be removed only while eating and drinking while seated in an auditorium. Employees monitor auditoriums throughout each performance as a standard practice."
As for Cinemark, the company's website states that when it comes to fully vaccinated guests masks are "optional" – except where they are required by local mandates. For all other guests, masks are "strongly encouraged" but similar to Regal can be removed while eating or drinking.
On Thursday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced during a White House coronavirus briefing that people who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus no longer need to wear masks while indoors or outdoors or physical distance in either large or small gatherings.
Fully vaccinated individuals are still advised to wear masks while in crowded indoor settings such as while on public transportation and in hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.
Immunocompromised individuals should consult a physician before giving up masks, Walensky said, warning that if U.S. case counts go back up the guidance could change.
Reps for Regal, Cinemark and AMC did not immediately respond to Fox Business' request for comment.
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