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Apple eases COVID-19 policies; could this hint at an in-person WWDC?

Published Jan 26th, 2023 9:53AM EST

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A report indicates Apple is making changes to its COVID-19 policies. According to Platformer’s managing editor Zoë Schiffer, the Cupertino firm will stop mandating employees test before coming into the office.

In addition, Apple will roll back its special sick leave policy, which “previously allowed for unlimited sick leave for workers experiencing COVID symptoms.” Schiffer reports that the test policy rolls out on Jan 30 and sick leaves end in August. Until then, employees get a maximum of 5 days of sick leave if they test positive for COVID-19.

This is the latest decision regarding COVID-19 and back-to-office policy since September. For a bit of context, in April of last year, Apple’s corporate employees returned to in-person work after two years of remote work. The company started requiring in-person work one day a week. A month later, this requirement increased to two days. Then, in September, Apple started requiring in-person work three days a week.

With COVID-19 cases pretty stable in the US and Apple easing its policies, it could mean the company could be readying a full in-person WWDC in three years – as last year it was a hybrid experience.

Is an in-person WWDC happening in 2023?

Since the pandemic started, Apple stopped the in-person events with executives appearing live in keynotes. With the WWDC 2022, the company offered a hybrid experience with selected developers attending the conference at Apple Park to watch a pre-recorded keynote.

The same happened during the iPhone 14 event in September. Although Apple doesn’t discuss its future plans, these policies being eased could mean the company could consider an in-person WWDC 2023 whether COVID-19 cases don’t start rising once again.

In addition, this WWDC could be the perfect place to announce the upcoming Mixed-Reality headset instead of a prerecorded event.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.