Facebook will be canceling its large events through June 2021 in response to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, according to CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Some events will take place in virtual form, though Zuckerberg did not share any details.
In the announcement posted on Facebook, Zuckerberg said that the company is “slowing our plans to return to the office in order to prioritize helping the rest of our community and local economy to get back up and running first.”
The live event ban applies to any gathering of more than 50 people, matching advice from health experts to put social distancing measures in place to slow the spread of the deadly disease. Zuckerberg added that all business travel is also canceled through June of this year.
“We will require the vast majority of our employees to work from home through at least the end of May” Zuckerberg continued, adding that employees who still feel the need to stay away from the office after that “can plan to work from home through at least the summer.”
Facebook is the latest tech giant to adopt such a policy; two weeks ago, Microsoft reportedly canceled all of its events through June 2021 as well.
Facebook’s decision reflects the growing concern that the coronavirus pandemic will not be controlled anytime soon and that social distancing may be the new normal. In a paper published recently in Science, researchers concluded that, barring the development of a cure or new treatments, “prolonged or intermittent social distancing may be necessary into 2022.”