Google is postponing employees’ return to physical offices until October 18, and when people do come back to their desks, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in a message to employees on Wednesday (July 28).
“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead,” Pichai said in the message sent to employees via email—the email, edited to remove internal links, was published on Google’s blog “The Keyword.”
“Anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated. We’re rolling this policy out in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months,” wrote Pichai.
Exceptions will be made in regions where the vaccine is hard to come by and for those people who cannot get vaccinated due to medical or “other protected reasons.”
Further, Pichai said that Google’s worldwide voluntary remote work policy will remain in place through October 18. Some campuses have already reopened and employees “who feel safe” can continue reporting to physical locations.
“At the same time, we recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office. This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it,” Pichai wrote.
Employees will get a 30-day heads up before the full return to Google’s campuses takes place. People with extenuating circumstances have the option of applying for temporary remote work arrangements through the end of the year, per the post. This marks the second time Google delayed employees’ return to its campuses.
The delta variant of COVID-19 is now popping up across the country, which has prompted the CDC to recommend that people resume wearing masks indoors once again. The CDC is also suggesting that, regardless of if one is vaccinated or not, all students, teachers and staff at K-12 schools should also wear masks.