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Google has become the first big US tech company to require its workers to be vaccinated before they return to work on one of its campuses.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive, said that the policy would start in the US “in the coming weeks” before being rolled out globally for its 144,000 employees.
The internet search giant also said on Wednesday that it would delay the full reopening of its campuses until October 18 as the Delta variant of Covid-19 causes “spikes” in various places, pushing back the official return to work by a month and a half.
Google’s action comes as employers around the world grapple with whether to force workers to be vaccinated. Since the start of the pandemic the leading tech firms have moved faster than most large companies, often setting a pattern that was later followed by others — including being among the first to close down their offices early last year.
Pichai told employees that implementation of the vaccine policy “will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area,” adding that the company would develop an exceptions process for people who can’t be vaccinated or “medical or other protected reasons.”