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Google will require employees to be vaccinated before returning to offices

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The first major tech company to require COVID-19 vaccines

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google will require that employees be vaccinated before they’re allowed to return to the company’s offices, CEO Sundar Pichai announced today in a letter obtained by The New York Times.

The announcement marks Google as one of the first major technology companies to require that employees be vaccinated before they return to work. The news comes as part of a new wave of vaccination requirements this week, spurred by the Biden administration reportedly planning to announce a requirement for federal workers to either be vaccinated or face frequent testing for COVID-19 sometime on Thursday.

Google’s vaccination requirement will reportedly apply to workers at US offices “in the coming weeks” and to other regions “in the coming months,” per the NYT.

Additionally, Google will be delaying its official return to offices from sometime in September to October 18th, as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spike across the United States. It joins Apple, which also postponed the end of its remote working policy to “October at the earliest” over similar COVID concerns.

It’s not clear whether other companies like Apple will follow Google’s move here. In an interview with CNBC’s Josh Lipton yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook commented that “…our main focus right now is on when to come back,” and noted that “we are monitoring things daily to really conclude whether that is the right answer or not.”

Update July 28th, 2:45pm: Added Tim Cook comment on vaccination requirements for Apple employees.