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Facebook, other tech majors make face masks, Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for employees as pandemic rages

Facebook, Google, Apple and other tech majors are playing it very safe while the Covid-19 pandemic rages even as they are looking to get more and more of their employees back to office. (AP File Photo/Jeff Chiu) Facebook, Google, Apple and other tech majors are playing it very safe while the Covid-19 pandemic rages even as they are looking to get more and more of their employees back to office. (AP File Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Facebook, Google, Apple and other tech majors are playing it very safe while the Covid-19 pandemic rages even as they are looking to get more and more of their employees back to office. (AP File Photo/Jeff Chiu) (AP)

Facebook may be calling its employees back to office, but it is insisting that everyone wear a face mask irrespective of Covid-19 vaccination status.

Just when everyone thought the worst was over, as far as coronavirus pandemic was concerned, the Delta variant has spread like wildfire, causing cases to rocket globally. It has stopped companies looking to bring back employees in their tracks and many have issued orders that remind of the darkest hours of the lockdown. Take, for instance, Facebook. On Monday, the 2nd of August, due to rising Covid-19 cases, the social media giant announced that all employees will be required to wear face masks when offices reopen. This policy went into effect from Monday and will remain so until further notice. Just last week, the company also announced that it’s making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for all employees coming to work at its US campuses, which are planned to fully reopen by October. "As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated," Facebook's vice president of people Lori Goler had said.

“Given the rising numbers of COVID cases, the newest data on COVID variants, and an increasing number of local requirements, we are reinstating our mask requirement in all of Facebook’s US offices, regardless of an employee’s vaccination status,” said a Facebook spokesperson. In effect, what it means is that even if you have been vaccinated, you must still wear face masks.

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According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 72,000 new cases every day in the country. Barely even three months after removing the mandate for vaccinated individuals to wear face masks, either indoors or outdoors, the CDC has started suggesting people again to wear them amid the surging cases of the Delta variant.

Other companies are also shifting their plans and policies according to case numbers, CDC recommendations, and local guidelines. Google postponed reopening plans last week and made vaccination mandatory for all employees in offices. Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office in the later part of the year.

Then there is Apple. It too is promoting safety and has ordered that face masks are mandatory for all customers and staff, vaccinated or not, at most of its US retail stores.

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