Apple tells employees that they must be COVID-19 boosted or do tests

Apple Store Cutout Nyc Update
Apple Store Cutout Nyc Update (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has told those eligible for COVID-19 booster shots that they must get them within 4 weeks.
  • People who are unvaccinated must have a negative test before they can go to work.
  • Apple informed employees via an internal email.

Apple has reportedly told its employees that they must get a COVID-19 booster shot if eligible or take frequent tests in order to go to work. The new rules come into force from February 15 and apply to Apple Stores and offices. Unvaccinated employees have been told that they must have a negative test in hand from January 24.

According to an internal email seen by The Verge, Apple is keen to ensure that people are as vaccinated as possible and will require negative tests if that isn't the case — or they won't be allowed into work.

Once an employee is eligible to get a booster shot, they will have four weeks to comply, otherwise, they will need to take frequent tests to enter a retail store, partner store, or Apple office starting on February 15th. Apple will require unvaccinated employees — or those who haven't yet submitted proof of vaccination — to provide negative COVID-19 rapid antigen tests before entering the workplace beginning on January 24th, although it's unclear whether this applies to both corporate and retail employees.

"Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease," Apple states in the memo. according to the report.

Apple has not been shy at closing retail stores in areas where outbreaks have been high while mask requirements have also been in place around the world.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.