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Google won’t bring workers back to office until October, will require vaccinations

July 28, 2021, 6:01 PM UTC

Google employees won’t set foot in the office until at least October, one month later than the company had originally announced. And the workers who do return to the campus at that time will have to be vaccinated.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai made the announcement Wednesday in an email to workers, citing concerns about the Delta variant of COVID-19.

“We recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office,” said Pichai. “This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it.”

The mandatory vaccine policy is effective immediately in the U.S. and the company plans to make it a global one as vaccine availability expands. Exceptions will be made for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other certain reasons.

“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead,” said Pichai.

The company did not give a specific date for when workers would be asked to come back, but Pichai said employees would be given at least 30 days’ notice before the transition to a full return began. (Google is saving $1 billion per year as employees work from home.)

“I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen,” he said. “Seeing Googlers together in the offices these past few weeks filled me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead.”

Google’s decision to delay the return to office comes nine days after Apple made a similar announcement.

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