Amazon Delays Return to Office Until 2022 Inc. on Thursday has pushed back its office return date until January 3 next year amid a surge in Covid-19 cases due to the Delta variant.

“As we continue to closely watch conditions related to Covid-19, we are adjusting our guidance for corporate employees in the U.S. and other countries where we had previously anticipated our employees would begin coming in regularly the week of September 7,” said Amazon human resources chief Beth Galetti in an email to employees. 

Amazon told ZDNet that its top priority is the health and well-being of its employees and that it is monitoring the situation closely. The company is working with medical professionals and following local government guidance as it amends its policy. 

Amazon spokesperson Jose Negrete said Amazon continues to encourage employees to receive the vaccine but will not require it.

The delay will affect around 60,000 people working in Amazon’s offices in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington as well as tens of thousands more corporate Amazon employees worldwide.

The majority of Amazon’s 1.2 million-person global workforce will still be showing up on-site to pack boxes, sort merchandise, and load and unload trucks at Amazon warehouses.

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