Until June 2021 Facebook cancels all physical events of more than 50 people. CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared the news as part of an update on the COVID-19 pandemic response from Facebook, where he also said that the "vast majority" of Facebook workers will be working from home until at least the end of next month. The cancellations include the virtual reality conference Oculus Connect 7 in San Jose, which is being replaced by an online-only event.
“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 both for our employees doing critical jobs who must be in the office and for everyone else in our local communities,” Zuckerberg writes. Some employees can't work remotely, including moderators who cover extremism and self-harm-related content. But “overall, we don’t expect to have everyone back in our offices for some time.”
Zuckerberg states that health professionals don't know when large gatherings are going to be advisable again, so for next year, Facebook preemptively cancels physical activities. It involves not only Oculus Connect but also the main F8 conference of the organization, which is usually held in the spring. Facebook will donate $500,000 to the City of San Jose to account for the reduction of revenue from Oculus Connect 7.
Most of Oculus Connect has already been streamed online, but the event is also an opportunity for press and developers to check out hardware concepts and new games and features. Facebook is still continuing its "no business travel" policy until June 2021, and it is unlikely that any smaller groups will be invited to come and see hardware. As for the rest, “we look forward to sharing more details about the digital event in the coming months.” Another report indicates that Oculus is working on a new headset codenamed "Del Mar," and at the show the company might still reveal news about it — but with supply chains still in flux, it could strike that project as well.