Apple's new COVID-19 policy calls for frequent testing of unvaccinated employees

As Apple conducts an all-hands meeting today, Zoë Schiffer reports that the company informed employees in its offices and stores of a new policy around COVID-19. Starting next month, any employees who are vaccinated can come into its spaces while doing some testing for the disease, while those who aren’t will have to get frequent testing.

© Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The company’s updated guidelines appear to line up with the OSHA standards that will be established as a result of the Biden Administration’s push to increase vaccination rates.

Apple recently pushed back the date when it expects employees to return to its office in response to a surge of cases and the Delta variant. An email in August said the mandatory return is delayed until at least January 2022, and employees can expect a one-month notice ahead of time before it goes into effect.

During the meeting, CEO Tim Cook to employees that “we need to learn” about a hybrid workplace after years of being entirely in the office and the last 18 months or so at home. In the immediate future, Apple will give everyone in the company three extra days off next quarter. For employees in the US, those days are coming in the week of Thanksgiving, while teams in other countries will set their dates independently.

BREAKING: Apple is rolling out a COVID-19 testing mandate next month. Vaccinated employees will get infrequent tests if going into an office or store. Unvaccinated employees will have to get frequent testing.

— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) September 17, 2021

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