Updated Dec 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

OSHA vaccine mandate penalties will begin on Jan. 10

A healthcare worker administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a person at a drive-thru site in Tropical Park on December 16, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

A health care worker administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-thru site at Miami's Tropical Park on Dec. 16. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration said Saturday it will wait until Jan. 10 to begin issuing citations to companies that do not comply with its coronavirus vaccine mandate.

Driving the news: OSHA also said that it would not issue citations for its COVID-19 testing requirements before Feb. 9 "so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard," the agency said.

  • "OSHA will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance," according to its updated guidance.

The big picture: The announcement comes one day after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reinstated the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 workers.

  • The mandate is "an important step in curtailing the transmission of a deadly virus that has killed over 800,000 people in the United States, brought our health care system to its knees, forced businesses to shut down for months on end, and cost hundreds of thousands of workers their jobs," according to the majority opinion.
  • The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on the issue, which has divided lower federal courts.
  • The mandate was initially set to take effect on Jan. 4.

Go deeper: Federal appeals court reinstates Biden's vaccine mandate for large companies

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