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Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Federal agencies no longer need to limit the number of employees allowed in workspaces, the Biden administration told agency heads Thursday.

Why it matters: "The guidance is likely to be closely watched in the private sector, as the federal government is the country’s largest employer, with roughly 2.1 million employees," the Washington Post writes.

  • Federal agencies have been operating at 25% in-person capacity since January.

Details: Though the U.S. government has said employers have the right to mandate vaccination, the Biden administration told agencies they should not require federal workers to disclose vaccination status.

  • The administration is retaining a policy that allows "maximum telework flexibilities."
  • Agencies’ "eventual post-pandemic operating state may differ in significant ways from [their] pre-pandemic operating state,” officials wrote in the memo to department heads.
  • Federal agencies are charged with finalizing reentry plans by July 19.

Worth noting: "The new policy appears aimed at striking a balance between showing the public the administration has turned a corner on the pandemic and giving federal workers and the unions that represent them — key constituencies for President Biden — flexibility to make child-care arrangements and return to work slowly," the Post reports.

  • "The incremental approach may also reflect a wariness that Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of the country vaccinated by July is optimistic, particularly in conservative states where there are many federal offices."

Go deeper

Jun 10, 2021 - Health

Goldman Sachs requires U.S. employees to report vaccination status

Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Goldman Sachs is mandating its U.S. employees to report whether or not they've received a COVID-19 vaccine by noon Thursday, reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: The federal government has said it is legal for companies to require workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Yet vaccine "passports" are a point of controversy, with several Republican-led states forbidding some private businesses from using them.

Biden pushes for increased protections for streams and waterways, reversing Trump-era rollback

Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Biden administration is pushing to increase federal environmental protections for "streams, marshes and other wetlands," effectively reversing a Trump-era rollback, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move is likely to restart a "decades-long battle over how far federal officials can go to stop contaminants from entering small streams and other wetlands," per the Post.

DOJ: Federal officers now required to wear body cameras when serving warrants

Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Federal law enforcement agents will now be required to wear body cameras when making "pre-planned" arrests and when executing search warrants, the Justice Department said Monday.

The big picture: The new directive marks the end of a policy that prohibited federal officers from wearing body cameras. The Justice Department had previously argued body cameras posed "a potential risk to sensitive investigations," per NPR.