Many parts of the world are starting to emerge from coronavirus lockdown, with stores opening up and social distancing measures relaxing. But don’t expect to take off your mask to go into your local Apple Store — whatever local advice suggests. This seemingly goes for both customers and retail employees.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has told Apple Stores that it will keep mask and other safety provisions in place as it continues to “evaluate health and safety” measures. This comes shortly after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said individuals who have received their vaccinations don’t have to wear a mask in the majority of public settings.
Retailers which have said that fully vaccinated shoppers don’t need to wear masks include Walmart, Trader Joe’s, and Costco. Apple, however, won’t be among them. The report, published over the weekend, notes that:
“As vaccinations in the U.S. continue and local governments allow for further reopenings, many major retailers are likely to adjust their procedures. Apple, though, didn’t tell staff when it anticipates its procedures will change.”
Apple closed all its retail stores outside Greater China in March 2021. Optimistically, at the time it said that they would reopen by the end of the month. They eventually began reopening in May. However, there have been several COVID-related hiccups since then, with small pockets of Apple Stores closing around the year for periods in compliance with local rules or guidance.
To protect customers from COVID-19, Apple instituted various safety measures. These include temperature checks, social distancing and — of course — face masks.