What just happened? Tech companies are sending a clear message to employees: if you want to return to work, you must be vaccinated against Covid-19. Google has said its staff must have received their jabs before returning to the office in October, so has Facebook. Netflix, meanwhile, will require vaccinations for all cast and crew on its US productions.
In a note to employees (via The New York Times), Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the vaccine mandate would apply to US office locations “in the coming weeks” and to other regions “in the coming months.”
In addition to the requirement, Google is delaying its official return to the office date from September to October 18 due to a surge in Covid-19 cases spurred by the Delta variant. Apple recently did the same thing, telling staff they won’t be coming back until October at the earliest.
Facebook, also expecting to reopen offices in the US this October, confirmed its vaccine mandate to The Verge. “As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” Facebook’s vice president of people, Lori Goler, said in a statement. “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.”
Deadline reports that Netflix has become the first major Hollywood studio to implement a vaccine policy. It covers everyone working in “Zone A,” which includes the casts of all of its US productions, as well as those who come into contact with them on set. Netflix is allowing some exceptions to the policy based on age, medical, and religious reasons.
Policy changes are stacking up. Now Lyft will also require proof of vaccination to return to the office, the company confirms to @cfarivar. Uber will allow unvaccinated people to return but they will be required to wear a mask.
— Ezra Kaplan (@EzraNBC) July 28, 2021
Up until recently, few companies had mandated vaccinations for employees, but the Delta variant has seen many large firms introduce the policy. Lyft, which isn’t allowing workers back in the office until February, will require them to show proof of vaccination. Moreover, the CDC now says fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas with high Covid-19 transmission rates.
Image credit: Tero Vesalainen