Google is no longer requiring its US-based workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to CNBC. The change is one of many the company is reportedly making to its policies as it prepares to have employees return to its offices.
The company originally announced in June that it would be requiring vaccinations to return to the office, and reportedly sent a memo in December telling employees they would risk being forced to take leave or even being fired if they did not prove they were vaccinated (or apply for an exemption). But a Google spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that vaccines were no longer required for US employees, so it appears the company has adjusted its policy.
Google didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
CNBC also shared details from a memo sent to staff by David Radcliffe, Google’s VP of real estate and workplace services. Google is lifting a policy that required anyone entering a Google facility, even vaccinated staffers, to have negative COVID-19 molecular test. “Unvaccinated employees who are approved to enter offices will still need to follow additional protocols, including testing and wearing a mask, Radcliffe’s note stated,” according to CNBC.
Google is also relaxing policies over some of its famed amenities, CNBC reports:
Radcliffe also wrote that the company is reopening amenities like fitness centers without appointment and massages; restoring full shuttle service; adding more places to eat free breakfast and lunch; and opening “all informal spaces” such as lounges, game rooms, music rooms, and massage chairs.
The company said in December that would wait until 2022 to determine its return-to-office plans. When employees are expected to return in-person, Google has already committed to giving them a 30-day heads up. The company has also already outlined plans for a hybrid work week where it will expect most employees to be in the office three days per week.
Apple has also begun to relax its COVID-19 policies, as it has dropped mask requirements for customers shopping at its Apple retail stores in several states. Apple may drop the mandate for retail employees to wear masks as well “in as early as two weeks,” according to a tweet from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.