Microsoft on Thursday joined the ranks of tech companies that required returning workers to be vaccinated, as Amazon delayed its plans to reopen its offices until next year.
The initial reopening date for Microsoft’s full US service will be October 4, according to the computing giant located near Amazon in Washington state.
“Starting September, we will need proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors and any guest entering Microsoft buildings in the United States,” Microsoft said in response to an AFP inquiry.
Microsoft and other tech firms have said they are closely monitoring epidemics and adapting plans as circumstances change, with employee health a top priority.
E-commerce company Amazon has confirmed that it is delaying the return of employees to its corporate offices until January next year, as expected.
“We require employees to wear masks in their offices, except for those who have confirmed full vaccination,” Amazon told AFP.
Google and Facebook said last week that workers returning to the offices would need a vaccine against Covid 19 in a recent move by firms and US government agencies.
An increase in infections due to the Delta type of virus has raised concerns in the United States, where more than 600,000 people have died from infectious diseases.
Google last week pushed off campus for unsafe employees and extended its global work from home option until October 18.
“Everyone who comes to work on our campus will need a vaccine,” said Sundar Pachai, Google’s chief executive, in a blog post.
Google and Facebook are among the companies around the world that left campus early last year, allowing people to work remotely in offices instead of being exposed to the Covid 19 threat.
“We will need to vaccinate anyone who comes to work on any of our US campuses,” Facebook Vice President Lori Goller said in response to an AFP inquiry.
“We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will review our approach in other areas as circumstances change.”
Many unions and critics of the mandate have spoken out against the vaccine, citing personal freedom arguments.
Employees who have not been vaccinated for medical or religious reasons will be given a place, Microsoft said.
Rising epidemic concerns are also slowing the return of offices in the financial sector, with investment management giant BlackRock telling U.S. workers it has extended its “reunion period” until early October.
According to a CNN report, Wells Fargo and US Bank have also delayed returning employees to their offices.
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