In the coming weeks, Google will start requiring workers to be vaccinated before coming into the office, the company announced Wednesday. The tech giant is also extending its voluntary policy through late October, as the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus spreads.
The vaccination requirement will roll out across US offices first and then expand to other regions. The implementation of the policy will vary depending on local conditions and regulations, as well as the availability of the vaccine.
Google's decision follows similar vaccination requirements by a growing number of government agencies and entities like the Mayo Clinic.
Google first closed its offices in March 2020 and previously said its employees would work remotely until at least September 2021. After announcing it would adopt a "hybrid workforce model" that asked employees to spend at least some time in the office, Google in May said that it expects around 20% of its employees to work from home permanently.
Some of the company's campuses have started reopening. Google said it will give employees at least 30 days' notice before implementing its full return-to-office plans.
"It's encouraging to see very high vaccination rates for our Google community in areas where vaccines are widely available," CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email to employees Wednesday. "This is a big reason why we felt comfortable opening some of our offices to employees who wanted to return early."
Facebook will also require employees to be vaccinated before turning to the office, according to reports. Like Google, Facebook's implementation of the policy will depend on local conditions and regulations.