Google Lifts Covid Vaccine Mandate, Restores Perks For Workers Returning To Office

Google, which implemented a Covid vaccine mandate for employees last summer, has reversed course and decided to lift the requirement.

The move was first reported Wednesday by CNBC and then confirmed by multiple other media outlets.

The change of course on the mandate comes as the company prepares to welcome employees back to offices three days a week. A date for the return has not been set but is expected in the next month or so. Perks for workers, including massages and cafeteria offerings, are also being phased back in after a long pause due to the pandemic.

Major media companies like Disney, Paramount Global and NBCUniversal all implemented vaccine mandates last year. Workers are returning to work in stages across the media and entertainment industry as well as the tech sector, as companies fine-tune their policies and approaches. The corporate activity is occurring against a backdrop of change on the government level. New York City poised to join other municipalities in rescinding requirements for masks and vaccines in many settings as Covid numbers improve. The change in New York, the original epicenter of the pandemic, has gained notice in recent days because it will enable NBA star Kyrie Irving to resume playing home games for the Brooklyn Nets.

At Google, employees who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks in indoor workplaces, except at the company’s Santa Clara County, CA headquarters. Unvaccinated employees will have to submit negative tests and wear masks in order to be in the office.

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