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Apple delays return to office indefinitely, report says

The return to work deadline has been delayed again for Apple workers, Bloomberg reports.

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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Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly encouraged office workers to get vaccinated and boosted amid the spread of the omicron variant.

Apple

Apple has reportedly indefinitely delayed the requirement for its workers to return to the office due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Workers were expected to return on Feb. 1, but will now return on a "date yet to be determined," Bloomberg reported Wednesday citing an internal memo by Apple CEO Tim Cook.

"We are delaying the start of our hybrid work pilot," Cook reportedly said in the memo, adding the decision was made due to "rising cases in many parts of the world and the emergence of a new strain of the virus."

Cook suggested employees get vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 "to keep you and your community safe," Bloomberg reported. It follows Google on Tuesday reportedly telling employees they will lose pay and eventually be fired if they don't comply with the company's vaccination rules.

Apple in August delayed its return to office date of October until January, which was last month, then delayed until February. But with the emergence of the highly infectious omicron variant, cases are rapidly on the rise again, leading to this reported indefinite delay. The news comes as the US reaches the grim milestone of 800,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to numbers from the Johns Hopkins' Coronavirus Resource Center.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. On Tuesday, Apple also reportedly brought back mask mandates to its stores across the US.