Apple to set strict Covid testing rules for unvaccinated employees

Hot potatoes: While Apple is one of the few technology companies that does not mandate vaccinations for employees, unvaccinated employees have admission rules: they will have to take a Covid-19 test every time they want to enter the office.

Bloomberg reports that daily testing will apply to employees who refuse to disclose their vaccination status to Apple. In contrast, vaccinated personnel will have to undergo rapid tests once a week.

Only unvaccinated Apple corporate employees will be required to take daily tests. Unvaccinated workers in the company’s retail stores will be asked to take the test twice a week, rather than every day they come to work. Vaccinated retail staff will still be required to take rapid tests every week.

Apple is asking employees to report their vaccination status by October 24, which is later than the previous mid-September deadline, and must also provide proof of their status in the coming days. The new testing requirements take effect on November 1st.

Home Rapid Tests will be available at Apple offices and retail stores. One test takes 15 minutes and the results must be reported independently via an internal application.

Back in July, Apple, a longtime advocate of personal rather than telecommuting, postponed its planned return to offices by a month due to the rise in Covid-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant. In August, the company again postponed its return to work requirement until early 2022. Although a daily testing mandate is coming soon, the company’s latest recommendation requires employees to work in the office at least three days a week starting in January. Employees will receive a month’s warning before returning.

Apple’s vaccination policy is certainly not as strict as many other companies. Facebook, Netflix, Google, Walt Disney, Uber, Microsoft, Lyft, several big banks and many more are demanding a vaccine for workers.

Image courtesy of (center): Ernei Furman

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