Apple reinstates mask mandate at all its US stores over concerns about rising Covid-19 cases
Apple will once again require anyone inside its US retail stores to wear a mask as concerns mount over rising Covid-19 cases and the spread of the Omicron variant.
- Customers at Apple stores in the United States will be required to wear face masks to shop as Covid cases rise countrywide.
- Previously, Apple only required masks in U.S. stores within regions that required them.
- California, where the iPhone maker is headquartered, has imposed a monthlong mask mandate, which starts Wednesday.
"Amid rising cases in many communities, we now require that all customers join our team members in wearing masks while visiting our stores," Apple spokesperson Nick Leahy said in a statement Tuesday.
The iPhone maker had gradually relaxed mask requirements in some cities and regions over time, based on local regulations. Masks were mandatory at about half its stores prior to this week's policy change, Leahy said.
“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures in stores to support the well-being of customers and employees,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. “Amid rising cases in many communities, we now require that all customers join our team members in wearing masks while visiting our stores.”
Apple closed all of its stores in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Stores reopened earlier this year, with staff wearing masks and designated sanitation areas for customers. The iPhone maker has adjusted individual store policies in response to regional conditions, including an emphasis on customer pickups via online purchases instead of in-store shopping and increasing the amount of space to social distance.
California, where Apple is headquartered, has imposed a monthlong indoor mask mandate, which starts Wednesday.