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In-N-Out locations in 5 states to ban employees from wearing face masks: Memo

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(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) — Face masks that were in during the COVID-19 pandemic will officially be out at some In-N-Out Burger locations across five states, according to a company memo.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration declared the U.S. is no longer officially in a COVID-19 emergency for the first time since the pandemic began three years ago.

The popular West Coast burger chain released an internal memo last week notifying employees in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas and Utah of a mask policy update “to show our Associates’ smiles and other facial features while considering the health and well-being of all individuals.”

The memo, obtained by ABC News from a Scottsdale, Arizona-based employee, stated that “No masks shall be worn in the Store or Support facility unless an Associate has a valid medical note exempting him or her from this requirement.”

Employees who do wear a face mask for a medical reason will be required by In-N-Out to “wear a company-provided N-95 mask,” according to the memo. “A different type of mask may only be worn with a valid medical note exempting the Associate from the N-95 mask requirement.”

There are also exemptions to the policy for employees “who are required to wear masks or other protective gear as part of their job duties (e.g., patty room Associates, lab technicians, painters, etc.).”

According to the memo, employees who fail to comply with the updated policy may face “appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, based on the severity and frequency of the violation.”

In-N-Out did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

The company plans to review this “periodically to ensure its effectiveness and compliance with evolving health guidelines,” according to the memo.

The rule will take effect August 14, the memo says.

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