Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) said Wednesday it is delaying its planned return to work for most employees until October and will require anyone working on its campuses to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Shares of the Mountain View, Calif. company were rising 3.7% to $2,736.36 at last check.
"Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead," CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees.
Pichai said the vaccine requirement will be implemented according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in the employees' area.
He said the company will be rolling out this policy in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months
The company will make exceptions for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons.
Vaccinations have become controversial in the U.S. and healthcare professionals have warned that the country is split between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated as the Delta variant continues to spread.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reversed its indoor mask policy and is now recommending that people should wear masks regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
Pichai also said the Alphabet is also extending its work from home policy through Oct. 18, instead of its previous target date of Sept. 1.
While the company is excited about reopening its campuses, he added that "we recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office."
"This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it," he said.
Apple recently pushed back the date it expects employees to return to the tech giant's offices by at least a month to October at the earliest.
On Tuesday, Google parent Alphabet reported strong results from a bounce back quarter that lapped the company's results from a year ago and topped analyst estimates.
Meanwhile, Pfizer (PFE) posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Wednesday, while boosting its 2021 profit guidance, as the drugmaker said its COVID-19 vaccine sales would reach at least $33.5 billion this year.