Google mandates weekly COVID-19 tests for people entering U.S. offices


FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured outside a Google office near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Paresh Dave//File Photo

(Reuters) -Alphabet Inc's Google is temporarily mandating weekly COVID-19 tests for any person entering Google offices or facilities in the United States, the tech giant said on Friday.

Anyone who comes into Google's U.S. work sites will require a negative test and be required to wear surgical-grade masks while at the office, the company said.

"To help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 during this period of heightened risk, we’re implementing new temporary health and safety measures for anyone accessing our sites in the U.S.," a Google spokesperson said.

Google provides free at-home and in-person testing options to its employees, their dependants and household members.

The temporary policy of weekly testing comes as cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus surge in the country.

Last month, Google said it was delaying its return-to-office plan globally from January amid growing concerns over Omicron.

Google, which was one of the first companies to ask its employees to work from home during the pandemic, had told its employees they would lose pay and eventually be fired if they do not follow its COVID-19 vaccination rules, according to a CNBC report in December.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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