Tech giant Apple has shot off an email directing all corporate and store employees to get a Covid-19 booster shot, The Verge reported.
Once employees become eligible, they will have four weeks to comply with Apple’s directive on the booster shot. Otherwise, they will have to take frequent tests to enter a partner store, retail store, or Apple office from February 15. From January 24, Apple will require unvaccinated employees or those who are yet to submit proof of vaccination to provide a negative rapid antigen test report before entering the premises. However, it is still unclear if this directive applies to both retail and corporate employees.
“Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease,” The Verge quoted Apple as saying in its memo to the employees.
Last year, Apple had issued a similar directive asking unvaccinated corporate employees to take daily tests before entering the workplace while unvaccinated retail workers were tested twice a week. The company also required vaccinated individuals to take Covid-19 tests once a week, before lowering the frequency later.
Apple’s directive follows a memo issued earlier this week by Facebook owner Meta Platforms asking employees to get a Covid-19 booster shot ahead of its return to in-office work from March 28. However, not all Meta employees will return to office from March — employees can defer their return by three to five months. The company will also let employees request full-time remote work. Employees will have to decide by March 14 if they want to come back to office, defer their return, or request remote work.
While Google is yet to mandate company-wide booster shots, it requires employees to have one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as well as weekly molecular tests.