Coronavirus

Facebook Nixes Large Gatherings, Events Through June 2021

Facebook HQ

Facebook Inc. has canceled gatherings of 50 or more people through June of 2021.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 35, used his Facebook page to post the Seattle-based company’s latest effort to protect the social media platform’s users and employees from the coronavirus, TheVerge reported.

“Guidance from health experts is that it won’t be advisable to have large groups of people get together for a while,” he wrote. Given this, we’re canceling any large physical events we had planned with 50 or more people through June 2021. Some of these we will hold as virtual events instead,” he said, promising details to follow.

The move means canceling the Oculus Connect 7 virtual reality conference in San Jose planned for the fall. Instead, the company plans to hold the conference via digital format later in the year.

Typically, much of Oculus Connect is streamed online, the report noted, but the show gives reporters and developers an opportunity to see prototype hardware, new games, and apps.

Facebook has 45,000 employees, most based at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., according to its website.

Zuckerberg said the company is slowly planning to return to the office to prioritize helping the rest of our community and local economy to get back up and running first.

“We will require the vast majority of our employees to work from home through at least the end of May in order to create a safer environment for our employees doing critical jobs who must be in the office and for everyone else in our local communities,” he said.

A small percentage of critical employees who can’t work remotely, Zuckerberg said, such as staff who work on counter-terrorism or suicide prevention, and engineers working on complex hardware, may be able to return sooner.

“But overall, we don’t expect to have everyone back in our offices for some time,” he said.

Facebook will also continue its ban on business travel through at least June, Zuckerberg wrote. Instead, the company will hold large gatherings and events virtually.

“I hope this helps contain the spread of Covid-19 so we can keep our communities safe and get back up and running again soon,” he said.

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