COVID-19 cases are on the up in the US. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 86,058 cases across the country on 28 July; this is up from 18,695 on 1 July.
The Delta variant is believed to account for more than 80% of all US cases and has been found to be more transmissible than other COVID-19 variants.
Therefore, it is no surprise that US employers have started to re-consider their plans to return to offices in September, as well as deciding to implement legal COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Earlier this week, tech giants like Google and Facebook, as well as media giant the Washington Post, took a tough line on COVID-19 vaccines. Google also extended its work from home policy until October.
This also comes within a few weeks of Apple pushing back its office return by a month to October at the earliest; many Apple employees are still protesting that they are being forced into the office three days a week.
Twitter has also shut its already reopened offices in New York and San Francisco and is pausing its future office reopening plans in response to the escalating COVID-19 situation. While the social media giant has said employees are entitled to work from anywhere forever (though their salaries will be adjusted based on their location), if staff do want to return to the offices when open, they must be double vaccinated.
Hot on the heels of this, Uber has now announced it will also delay the return to the office from September until October and that all employees in the US must be vaccinated before entering an office.
According to Business Insider, the delayed office return is to give employees more time to get fully vaccinated.
Once Uber’s US employees to return to the office, they will be expected to work at least three days from there.
In making this announcement, Uber also follows in the footsteps of its ride hailing rival Lyft, which, according to Reuters, has already made vaccines mandatory for staff who want to work in its offices and previously delayed its office reopening from February to September.
It is unclear if Lyft will now further delay its office reopening in response to the escalating COVID-19 situation.