Apple now requires store and corporate employees to get a COVID-19 booster shot, the company announced in an internal email seen by The Verge.
Once an employee is eligible to get a booster shot, they will have four weeks to comply, otherwise, they will need to take frequent tests to enter a retail store, partner store, or Apple office starting on February 15th. Apple will require unvaccinated employees — or those who haven’t yet submitted proof of vaccination — to provide negative COVID-19 rapid antigen tests before entering the workplace beginning on January 24th, although it’s unclear whether this applies to both corporate and retail employees.
Apple boosts safety protocols as the omicron variant spreads
“Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease,” Apple states in the memo.
Last year, Apple asked that unvaccinated corporate employees take daily tests before entering the office, with unvaccinated retail workers testing twice per week. The company also began requiring vaccinated individuals to take COVID-19 tests once every week, and later lowered the frequency of these tests. It appears that Apple’s “infrequent” testing policy no longer applies to employees who don’t receive the booster shot by Apple’s deadline, however.
Earlier this week, Meta said employees will need to get a COVID-19 booster shot ahead of the company’s return to in-office work in March. While Google hasn’t mandated company-wide booster shots yet, it requires employees to have the first two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as take weekly molecular tests.