Facebook has delayed recalling its workers to their offices in the US and beyond until January next year at the earliest.
The internet goliath had hoped to reopen most of its stateside offices to 50 per cent capacity next month, and require everyone back by October. It also planned to continue opening up its EMEA and APAC locations.
"Data, not dates, is what drives our approach for returning to the office," a Facebook spokesperson told The Register on Thursday.
"Given the recent health data showing rising Covid cases based on the delta variant, our teams in the US will not be required to go back to the office until January 2022. We expect this to be the case for some countries outside of the US, as well.
"We continue to monitor the situation and work with experts to ensure our return to office plans prioritize everyone's safety."
Some of the social network's offices may still be allowed to reopen later this year, to some degree, depending on local coronavirus figures and rules, we understand. And at least in the US, staff must be vaccinated, and must wear a mask indoors, when they return.
Facebook isn't alone in any of this: Amazon announced on Tuesday it was delaying its return to the office until next year. Microsoft has stalled restarting on-campus working until October at the earliest, citing delta concerns, as has Google. Microsoft and Google will both insist on staff being vaccinated, if possible.
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Facebook's move highlights concerns in the world of Big Tech of the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
San Francisco, we note, today said people must show proof of vaccination before they are allowed into the city's bars, restaurants, gyms, clubs, and indoor events from next week. The SF Bay Area as a whole, which includes Silicon Valley, requires masks to be worn inside public settings even if you're vaccinated.
Such moves have sparked a surge in the trade for counterfeit vaccination cards. But such fakes may not fool employers nor verification apps.
One thing is certain, depending on where you live, those hoping for a return to office life may have to wait a while longer. ®