Not for the first time, Microsoft has followed Apple's lead and will not bring staff back to its offices until October at the earliest.
The Windows giant confirmed to The Register it won't fully reopen its campuses in the United States before October 4 or later, citing concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And with variants of the COVID-19 bio-nasty swirling around America and the wider world, from next month those who do set foot inside a Microsoft building must first show proof of vaccination.
"As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to closely track new developments and adapt our plans as this situation evolves, keeping employee health and safety top of mind," a spokesperson told us.
"Starting in September, we’ll also require proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors, and any guests entering Microsoft buildings in the US, and will have an accommodation process in place for employees. We continue to review the situation on a local basis in each region, country, and state where we work and will adjust dates and policies as needed."
By "accommodation process," Microsoft means it will allow in people who can't have a vaccine for medical and other protected reasons, such as if it's against their religious beliefs. Those who are caregivers to immunosuppressed people or have young children who can't be and thus haven't been vaccinated can continue to work from home until at least January.
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Last month Apple delayed recalling staff to its campuses to October rather than September as planned. It is also reportedly asking individual staffers if they are vaccinated as that will determine whether or not they are subject to extra rules.
Facebook and Google are still planning to have staffers come back this fall if vaccinated, and Twitter has closed its San Francisco and New York City offices after reopening them a few weeks ago. Health officials in the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes Silicon Valley, have ordered people to wear masks indoors in public settings even if vaccinated due to a surge in infections. ®