Apple ordering frequent COVID testing for all corporate, retail employees

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Apple will reportedly begin requiring regular coronavirus testing for both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees working at its offices or brick-and-mortar stores.

According to The Verge reporter Zoe Schiffer, the new policy will apply to both corporate and retail staffers. Vaccinated employees will need to get "infrequent tests," while those who are unvaccinated will be subject to more regular testing. It'll take effect in October.

The move follows an Apple ramp-up in Covid-19 testing availability that kicked off in August. Although the company began sending more at-home testing kits to employees and encouraged their use, it did not require staffers to test themselves.

In contrast with other technology companies, Apple has yet to implement any sort of vaccine mandate, citing employee privacy. Earlier in September, the company began collecting voluntary information on the vaccination status of its employees, however.

Apple initially planned to bring workers back to the office at least a few days a week by September, but has delayed that timeline twice. Currently, a return to in-office work has been postponed until January 2022 at the earliest.

Employees at Apple have pushed back against the in-office work requirement, penning letters to Apple executives and using internal channels to advocate for more flexible work arrangements. Apple executives, for their part, are sticking with their plan to have staffers return to offices.