MENLO PARK (CBS SF) – More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced Facebook employees to work from home, the company is set to reopen its Bay Area offices at limited capacity starting in May.
The social media giant announced Friday said they planned to open select offices at up to 10% capacity beginning May 10, as long as health data continues to improve and vaccines become more widely available. On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all Californians 16 and older would be eligible to be vaccinated starting April 15.READ MORE: San Leandro Community Rallies for Reform on Anniversary of Steven Taylor's Police Shooting Death
Company spokesperson Chloe Meyere said the company is taking a “measured approach” to reopening offices. Workers who return must practice physical distancing, wear masks and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing “where possible.”
“We will continue to work with experts to ensure our return to office plans prioritize everyone’s health and safety,” Meyere said.
Facebook will eliminate some of its perks, such as no free food and no buses delivering workers to campuses.READ MORE: Lodi Parachute Center Skydiver Dies After Chute Gets Tangled on Descent
Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, told KPIX 5, “I think this reopening is right on time. Vaccines are getting us out of this pandemic.”
“Things are coming back to life and why? Because our cases are extremely low,“ Gandhi went on to say.
Facebook will not require employees to get vaccinated to return to the offices, to which the doctor responded, “We will still maintain face masks and distancing, and that’s the right thing to do.”
The company has given employees the option to work from home until July 2 and anyone who is not working remotely full-time can continue to do so one month after their office reopens at 50% capacity. Facebook expects their largest offices won’t be open at 50% capacity until after September 7.MORE NEWS: Saratoga Resident Displaced in 2-Alarm House Fire Sunday Morning
While Facebook plans for workers to return to offices in the coming months, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the early days of the pandemic last May that up to half of the company’s workforce could be working remotely in the next five to 10 years.