Apple has joined the growing list of businesses that are either delaying or postponing their return to work until the world gets a firmer handle on Omicron.
Tim Cook, the company's CEO, delivered a note to employees on Wednesday alerting them that the company's corporate return-to-office deadline had been pushed back from February 1 to a "date to be determined."
Microsoft, the world's second most valuable firm after Apple, had canceled its September return-to-work date. Uber, Alphabet, and Ford are among the companies that have postponed their returns.
Apple has repeatedly postponed its office reopening plans, with some employees protesting against the company's intention to reopen offices. Several Silicon Valley and Wall Street firms have faced opposition to reopening, as well as vaccination restrictions.
A divided United States appeals court on Tuesday denied a request by six employees to ban United Airlines from imposing unpaid leave on employees who are granted religious or medical exemptions from the company's vaccination policy.
According to a major Newswire, Apple's recent decision comes the same week that the firm restored its mask mandate to all U.S. retail stores and briefly closed three sites due to an increase in virus infections among staff.
Omicron has been documented in more than 60 countries, including China, and now dominates the Delta type in many countries, according to the World Health Organization. Omicron, which has a much greater reproduction rate than Delta, has led numerous governments to reimpose limitations on people's movement and business activity, according to studies.
The United Kingdom reported 78,610 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, the largest since the outbreak began and up nearly 40% from Tuesday.