Goldman Sachs has informed U.S. employees who are returning to offices they will have to get a COVID-19 booster shot, if eligible, by Feb. 1 in order to enter company premises as Omicron spreads throughout the country, while New York registers one of the highest infection rates.
Workers must also get tested twice a week starting Jan. 10, according to the recent directive by the finance firm, first reported by Bloomberg. Goldman was one of the main companies pushing for employees to return to their offices.
“It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as quickly as possible,” Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told Credit Suisse analyst Susan Katzke during Goldman’s Virtual Financial Services Forum, referring to remote work.
“This is not a new normal,” he added as he discussed how the company was doing everything it can to prevent no-direct-contact remote work.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon shared his viewpoint during the forum: “Banks are basically an apprenticeship model where you learn by sitting next to people and going on a trip with them or seeing mistakes being made. Very often you need a lot of collaboration in the room.”
“You’re not going to learn that way by sitting at home,” Dimon added.
The pivot comes as the highly-transmissible Omicron variant becomes the dominant strain in the United States, with New York City, where Goldman is based, accounting for 22,743 new cases on Dec. 25, one of the highest 7-day averages on record.
The global response to Omicron—a much milder variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus that has resulted in significantly fewer hospitalizations and deaths—has disrupted flight and rail transportations during the holiday season. Many Wall Street firms have cancelled company gatherings during the holidays season owing to the spread of Omicron.
Other than Goldman, Wells Fargo delayed its return to offices due to the rise in case numbers. Jefferies Financial Group has asked employees to continue working from home and get a booster shot before February. The investment back has designated Jan. 17 as a tentative date to get people back in the office.
Citigroup and Bank of America informed workers that they could work remotely through the holidays, while Morgan Stanley requested staffers to wear masks when moving away from their desks and discouraged large gatherings. Companies across the country are struggling to get employees back to work.
Goldman Sachs representatives did not immediately reply to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.