On the 28rd of JulyThe Google and Facebook became two of its first large companies Silicon Valley who stated that will require by employees to be vaccinated when they return to offices. In a emails Addressing staff, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the policy will be implemented in the US in the coming weeks and in other areas in the coming months, as vaccines will become more widely available.
However, it is not clear exactly how Google intends to enforce this policy.
"Vaccination is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the coming months.", said Pichai.
The same day, Facebook vice president Lori Goler said that employees going to work for the company should be vaccinated, according to a statement posted on Twitter by a representative of the social media giant.
Facebook plans to follow a "procedure for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons, and will consider extending this approach to other areas as the situation evolves," Goler said.
Many companies are trying to find a way to bring employees back to the office safely, after about a year and a half since remote work was adopted due to its pandemic COVID-19. And with her rapid spread of the Delta variant of the virus, the vaccinations are important part of the equation.
The announcements of Google and Facebook come after large medical teams they called companies to require health care workers to be vaccinated, but also before the upcoming announcement by US President Joe Biden that all federal employees and contractors should be vaccinated or tested frequently.
Google is delaying the schedule of its reopening plans. The company had planned to terminate remote work on September 1st, after which employees could choose whether to return to their office, work from a Google office in a different city, or work permanently from home, if their role allows. However, it is now considering bringing more employees back to its offices until October 18, Pichai said in the email.
Google plans to notify employees at least 30 days before returning to the offices.
Google is not the only Silicon Valley company to change its plans to bring office workers back because of the Delta variant. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Apple will delay its reopening until at least October, one month later than planned. The company's CEO, Tim Cook, confirmed these plans to CNBC on the 27th of July.
Apple also plans to require customers and staff in more than half of its stores continue to wear masks, regardless of the vaccination status, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Bloomberg reported on July 28. The company has encouraged store employees to be vaccinated, but does not currently require it, according to the report.