In 2020, Facebook, Google and Apple were among the companies that had to send their employees to telecommute because of the pandemic. Now, as they finally look to reopen their offices(albeit with a hybrid model), the Delta variant is threatening those reopening plans.

And to deal with this variant, Facebook and Google felt that the solution is to make vaccination mandatory for employees, at least for those who have to work on site. As for Google, the news was announced by Sundar Pichai, the boss of the Mountain View firm, in a note to employees posted on the company’s blog.

Vaccine required for face-to-face work at Google and Facebook

“…] anyone who comes to work on our campuses will have to be vaccinated,” says Sundar Pichai. “We’re rolling out this policy in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months. Implementation will vary depending on local conditions and regulations and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area. You’ll get guidance from your local officials on how this will affect you, and we’ll also share more details on an exception process for those who can’t be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons.”

Nevertheless, the Google boss assures that the vaccination rate among the company’s employees is already high. Google has also made sure that its employees and contractors have access to the vaccine when it is available.

On the other hand, Google has also decided to delay its reopening plans until October 18. Those who want to can return to work at the company’s facilities. But, “At the same time, we recognize that many Googlers are experiencing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are afraid to return to the office,” says the Google boss.

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As for Facebook, it announced similar measures via a statement from Lori Gole, VP of People, relayed by CNBC. “When our offices reopen, we will require anyone coming to work on one of our U.S. campuses to be vaccinated,” the statement said. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations.”

Apple is still unsure

Apple, for its part, has yet to make a decision, but is considering it. According to Josh Lipton, a correspondent for CNBC, he was able to discuss this topic with Tim Cook, the boss of the Cupertino firm. And here is what he said:“[…] our main goal at this time is to make sure that we have the right technology to support the new technology.ment is when to come back… we’ve pushed it back from early September to at least October… we’re monitoring things daily to really conclude whether this is the right answer or not.”

In any case, if the internet giants make the vaccine mandatory in countries where it is legally possible, these policies should influence many companies, and not just in the tech world.