Today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent out an email to all the Google employees briefing them about the company's plans to re-open offices for employees.
In the email, Pichai said that the company plans to delay the return to offices to at least October 18, thanks to the recent spike in coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant. He also assured that the company will give ample notice to employees before opening offices in order to help them transition back to the office environment. Furthermore, the company noted that it plans to allow employees with special needs to apply for an exemption and work from home till the end of 2021.
Apart from that, Pichai also confirmed that the company plans to make vaccination mandatory for all Google employees returning to the campus. The company will roll out this policy to employees in the U.S. in the coming weeks with plans to expand it to other regions in the coming months. Pichai also noted that the company will not apply the policy until vaccines are readily available in the local area.
The search giant also plans to allow employees to apply for exemption in case they cannot get vaccinated due to "medical or other protected reasons". The company will share more information about the exemption process in the future.
Lastly, Pichai also took this opportunity to announce that Google helped Gavi vaccinate over one million people in low-and middle-income countries globally.