- Apple will start reopening many of its retail stores later this week.
- Apple’s new safety guidelines will require all employees and customers to wear face coverings.
- Apple initially closed all of its retail stores in mid-March on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the coronavirus continues to subside in many areas, and with many states planning to loosen lockdown measures over the next few days and weeks, Apple today said it plans to reopen approximately 100 of its retail stores across the country this week.
Apple’s decision comes about three weeks after the company started reopening a handful of stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska. At the time, Apple said it was keeping a close eye on local health data and would use that information to help it decide which stores can safely start serving customers.
Looking ahead, the extent to which any individual Apple retail store opens back up will vary. Whereas some might allow a limited number of shoppers inside, others will remain closed save for curbside or storefront service.
Apple’s statement on the matter (via The Verge) reads:
This week we’ll return to serving customers in many US locations. For customer safety and convenience, most stores will offer curbside or storefront service only, where we provide online order pick-up and Genius Bar appointments.
Others will be open for walk-in customers and we encourage everyone to check their local store webpage for more information about hours at their preferred location. Customers can also visit apple.com for support by phone or chat. We are committed to reopening our stores in a very thoughtful manner with the health and safety of our customers and teams as our top priority, and we look forward to seeing our customers again soon.
Of course, it goes without saying that Apple retail stores will implement a range of measures to ensure a safe shopping experience.
Apple, for instance, said that social distancing guidelines will limit the number of visitors who can go into a store at a given time. What’s more, Apple retail head Deirdre O’Brien recently articulated some other safety guidelines Apple will adhere to:
We’re also taking some additional steps in most places. Face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, and we will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door, and posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms — like cough or fever — or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID‑19. Throughout the day, we’re conducting enhanced deep cleanings that place special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.
Apple is also encouraging customers to order products online and use curbside pickup whenever possible.