When Google employees return to the office, they will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead," Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Alphabet, Google's parent company, wrote in a memo to employees according to the New York Times.
Pichai praised Google employees who have already been vaccinated and boasted that it was "encouraging to see very high vaccination rates" among the company's workforce. Google did not provide any information about how many of its 144,000 employees across the globe have been vaccinated.
"Even as the virus continues to surge in many parts of the world, it's encouraging to see very high vaccination rates for our Google community in areas where vaccines are widely available. This is a big reason why we felt comfortable opening some of our offices to employees who wanted to return early. And I have to say it's been great to see Googlers brainstorming around whiteboards and enjoying meals in cafes again in the many offices that have already re-opened globally," he said.
In a blog post about the decision, Pichai said that the policy will only apply to workers in areas where coronavirus vaccines are readily available.
"We recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office," Pichai wrote. "This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it."