The Omikron variant of the coronavirus is leading to a postponement of the full opening of the offices for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp employees in the USA. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the US offices should not be fully reopened before the end of March, more precisely March 28th. So far, regular operation should already take place in January. As a prerequisite for returning to the offices, the individual employees must then provide evidence of a COVID-19 booster vaccination.
Only with a booster
“Refreshments offer increased protection”, said a meta spokesman, according to the Wall Street Journal. Due to the proven effectiveness of the booster vaccination, the existing rules of a group-wide vaccination requirement are now being expanded to require a booster in addition to the double vaccination to return to the offices, he said.
However, not all employees of the Meta Group have to work in the office again as of March 28th. You can also only return after three to five months. In addition, Meta enables them to work remotely full-time. To do this, employees must submit a corresponding application by March 14th. By the same date, employees must also indicate whether they want to work in the office again from the end of March or whether they want to come back later.
Postponed regular operation
In addition to Facebook, other large US corporations had postponed the resumption of regular operations in their US offices, including Google and Apple. Google had already suspended the return of all home office workers planned for January 10th for an indefinite period in mid-December due to the increase in Omikron infections. They were also required to be vaccinated in order to be able to work in the offices. Google wants to sanction those unwilling to vaccinate and, if necessary, first send them on a paid vacation for 30 days, then for a maximum of six months on unpaid vacation and then terminate them if necessary.
At Apple in the USA there is no group-wide vaccination requirement, only a vaccination recommendation. Apple boss Tim Cook also recommended a booster vaccination to his employees in mid-December. At the same time, the start of a hybrid work model planned for February 1, in which the Apple workforce should come back to the offices on three fixed days, has been suspended for an indefinite period. But if you want, you can already work in the office now.