Apple will mandate COVID19 testing for employees working in offices and retail stores, more regular testing required if unvaccinated

According to The Verge’s Zoe Schiffer, Apple will begin requiring that its employees working in retail stores or offices are tested for COVID-19. The new policy will go into effect from next month.

The company is still not mandating vaccines, a decision that stands in stark contrast to most other major tech companies (although Apple has a disproportionally higher proportion of retail workers to manage). However, the required frequency of testing will apparently be higher for those who are unvaccinated.

Schiffer says vaccinated employees coming into the office will be expected to have ‘infrequent’ testing.

Apple had originally hoped for corporate employees to return to their offices this fall, expecting workers to come to the office at least three days a week. However, with the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant, those plans — and the ensuing complaints from employees hoping for a more accommodating WFH policy — were pushed back to next year. (Corporate employees working in select divisions, especially hardware development, have been working at Apple Park for many months already.)

At the time of the hybrid work announcement, there was a (relatively) public backlash about Apple’s plans. In the light of the success of Apple’s business during the pandemic, some employees sought that flexible work-from-home arrangement continue indefinitely. Apple executives have said it wants to try the hybrid approach, and then re-evaluate as appropriate.

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