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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

Mapped: Afghan refugees headed to 46 states

Expand chart
Data: White House; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

The Biden administration notified governors and mayors on Wednesday of the number of Afghan evacuees their state is expected to receive in the coming weeks, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: Although their exact immigration pathway is still unclear, an initial group of 37,000 Afghans will soon be headed to states across the country after many faced harrowing journeys from Afghanistan.

Ina Fried, author of Login
47 mins ago - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.

2 hours ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.