Earlier today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company will require employees to be vaccinated before returning to work on-site. It was part of a larger letter sent to Google/Alphabet staff that also noted the company will be extending its work-from-home policy through October 18, as the Covid-19 Delta variant continues to sweep through the global population.
In a message to TechCrunch, Facebook’s VP of People, Lori Goler, confirmed a similar policy for the social media giant.
“As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” Goler writes. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations. We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves. We continue to work with experts to ensure our return to office plans prioritize everyone’s health and safety.”
The statement is worded similarly to the long letter penned by Pichai, which carved out an exception for “medical or other protected reasons.” The comment doesn’t offer an adjusted timeline for the return, which had initially planned to go half-capacity in September and full by October.
Last week, a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal, “Expert guidelines state that vaccines are highly effective at preventing variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Our timelines to reopen our offices haven’t changed.”
Both statements offer some wiggle room for the company, based on things like local and state regulations, medical or personal concerns and, presumably, access to the vaccine, which can vary greatly based on region.
Amazon also responded to TechCrunch’s inquiry on the matter, noting, “We strongly encourage Amazon employees and contractors to be vaccinated as soon as COVID-19 vaccines are available to them.”
The company’s current guidelines don’t appear to require vaccination in order to return to its offices, though unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks. Face coverings are optional for those who have verification of being fully vaccinated.