Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Apple is once again intensifying its COVID-19 testing policy, especially for unvaccinated workers. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple will soon begin requiring unvaccinated employees to be tested for COVID-19 “every time they enter an office.”

The requirement also applies to company workers who opt out of reporting their vaccination status to Apple. “Vaccinated staff will be required to take rapid tests once a week,” the report adds.

The policy will be slightly different for retail employees:

Employees at Apple stores, meanwhile, will have slightly different rules. Unvaccinated staff are asked to test twice a week instead of every day they come to work. Vaccinated workers must also take a quick test every week.

Employees will be able to pick up quick tests at home at Apple offices and retail stores. The tests take 15 minutes and the employees will 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 in September. The new requirements will all take effect on 1 November.

Apple announced in August that it was postponing the requirement to return to work until early 2022. At the time, the company said it would give employees a one-month warning before any special requirements for returning to work took effect. Nothing has been officially announced since the August delay, but this latest policy change is more proof that Apple hopes to move forward with its return to the work schedule sooner rather than later.

Apple has so far opposed implementing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its employees, instead of focusing on increasing testing for those who have not been vaccinated. As Bloomberg points out, however, that threatening demands from the US government could ultimately force Apple’s hand to carry out a mandate of some kind.

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