The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and General Services Administration (GSA) announced today that the 25 percent occupancy restriction for Federal offices has been lifted, and agencies will soon be able to increase the number of employees in their physical workplaces.

The previous restriction, set by the Biden administration in a January 24 memo, mandated Federal workplaces to not operate above 25 percent “of normal occupancy standards.” The latest memo today lifts this restriction, but agencies must meet certain requirements before increasing the number of employees in the workplace.

Before increasing the number of employees in the physical workplace, “an agency must complete its phased plan for reentry and post-reentry, ensure it has an updated COVID-19 workplace safety plan pursuant to current CDC guidelines, satisfy any applicable collective bargaining obligations, and provide ample notice to any affected employees,” according to today’s guidance.

Agencies are required to provide a draft of their reopening plans to OMB by June 18, and final agency reentry plans are due by July 19. These plans must include “a phased plan for reentry and post-reentry,” as well as “an update of the agency’s COVID-19 workplace safety plan.”

This comes as the White House announced this week that Federal agencies cannot require employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or require employees to disclose their vaccination status.

Just last month, the White House announced that fully vaccinated Federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors to Federal buildings no longer have to wear masks. However, those who are not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.