Apple is once again ramping up its COVID-19 testing policies, specifically for unvaccinated workers. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple will soon start requiring that unvaccinated employees get tested for COVID-19 “each time they want to enter an office.”
The requirement will also apply to corporate workers who opt out of reporting their vaccination status to Apple. “Vaccinated staff will be required to take rapid tests once per week,” the report adds.
The policy will be slightly different for retail employees:
Apple retail store employees, meanwhile, will have slightly different rules. Unvaccinated staff will be asked to test twice per week instead of each day they come to work. Vaccinated workers will also need to take a rapid test each week.
Employees will be able to pick up at-home rapid tests from Apple offices and retail stores. The tests take 15 minutes, and employees will self-report their results through an internal app.
According to today’s report, Apple is asking employees to report their vaccination status by October 24, which is a delay compared to its previous deadline of September. The new requirements will all go into effect on November 1.
Apple announced in August that it was delaying its return to work requirement until early 2022. At the time, the company said that it would provide employees with a one-month warning before any specific return to work requirements took effect. Nothing has been officially announced since the delay in August, but this latest policy change is more evidence that Apple hopes to move forward with its return to work plan sooner rather than later.
Apple has thus far resisted implementing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its employees, instead focusing on ramping testing for those who are unvaccinated. As Bloomberg points out, however, looming requirements from the US government could ultimately force Apple’s hand in implementing a mandate of some sort.
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