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Google Drops Mask, Vaccine Requirements for Employees

The tech giant is changing its rules around COVID.

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Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert
2 min read
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Vaccinated Google employees won't have to wear masks or get tested, a report says.

Angela Lang/CNET

Google will no longer mandate COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment for US workers and won't require already vaccinated workers to wear masks, get tested or socially distance while working in most offices, as reported earlier Wednesday by CNBC.

Masking and distancing rules for vaccinated workers will be dropped in offices in line with local COVID guidance and requirements, but CNBC reported unvaccinated employees who are approved to enter offices will still need to follow testing and mask-wearing regulations. Unvaccinated workers will otherwise not be able to access Google offices.

"Based on current conditions in the Bay Area, we're pleased that our employees who choose to come in now have the ability to access more onsite spaces and services to work and connect with colleagues," a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNET. "We're giving employees who welcome the chance to come into the office the option to do that wherever we safely can, while allowing those who aren't ready to keep working from home."

Goggle had previously told its workers they'd lose pay and eventually be fired if they didn't comply with the company's coronavirus vaccination rules.

The news follows Amazon dropping its mask mandate for fully vaccinated workers two weeks ago, and some major cities across the US no longer requiring proof of vaccination and masks. Though cases are now dropping, there have been more than 900,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the US.

COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective against severe disease, hospitalization and death. 

Read more: Here's How Long Your COVID Vaccine Booster Provides Protection