Even some Trump hotels are requiring masks again as COVID cases spread3 min read
(CBS News) – As president, Donald Trump discouraged those around him from wearing face masks. But some of the hotels bearing his name are taking a more nuanced stance as the contagious Delta variant fuels a spike in COVID-19 cases, and as federal health officials recommend face coverings inside public spaces in high-risk areas that encompass most of the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends wearing masks indoors in public places for those not fully vaccinated as well as for everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission, categories that currently include 94% of U.S. counties. That’s in large part because even the fully vaccinated can spread the Delta variant, according to the CDC.
Perhaps in line with ever-changing guidance, calls to Trump properties yielded differing information on rules regarding masks.
“In keeping with the CDC and state and local government guidance, we have adjusted our policies to allow vaccinated guests and visitors to enjoy our hotels without masks,” states the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas website.
But the possibly outdated statement is at odds with what a desk worker told CBS MoneyWatch on Tuesday. “We do have a mask mandate in place for inside — it’s been in effect for the past couple of weeks,” said a front desk worker who explained employees were not allowed to give their last name. “The mask mandate is for the entire city of Las Vegas,” the worker added.
In Hawaii, where 61.3% have completed vaccination, Governor David Ige has said he plans to continue requiring masks indoors until 70% of residents are immunized. At the Trump International Hotel in Waikiki, workers are required to wear face masks on the property, and “signage is prominently placed at the entrance of the hotel and other strategic locations outlining proper mask usage” for guests, according to its website.
That currently means guests are required to wear masks in public areas, including the hotel’s elevators, according to a person who answered the hotel’s phone number. “For now we are complying with the state of Hawaii ordinance,” said the employee. Asked whether guests went along with the requirement, the employee replied: “Yes and no. There are guests that do not feel like wearing masks, but we do ask that they comply.”
Required online, voluntary in practice
It’s a dramatically different story in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis has banned mask mandates. While the governor’s executive order is generally viewed as not impacting private businesses, its spirit is reflected at the Trump International Beach Resort in Miami.
Masks are required inside the resort, following guidelines set by Miami-Dade County for hotel operations, according to the hotel’s website. The regulations are enforced by city and county inspectors during unannounced visits, and those unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition need to bring a doctor’s note, it said. “We do not need to know your condition, but we do require documentation of your exemption,” the hotel’s site stated.
In practice, however, the resort “is following the Florida policy for masks — so it’s voluntary,” said a hotel phone operator. “Most of our employees are wearing masks for guest safety, but not a lot of people [guests] are wearing them,” said the operator.
In Chicago, masks are recommended but not required indoors by the city, a policy reflected at the Trump International Hotel & Tower. Visitors will “still see our associates in face masks,” but the precaution is no longer required for vaccinated guests, according to a notice on the hotel’s website.
The Trump property was in the news earlier this year when a Chicago hospital executive resigned in March after revelations that the local medical facility had improperly vaccinated workers at the Trump locale.
The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment about the hotels it manages.
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