Company previously only required masks in areas where they were mandated
Apple is bringing back mask requirements for customers at all of its retail locations. The company said it will require shoppers to wear face masks again amid a new rise in COVID-19 cases.
The tech company had previously only been requiring face masks in stores in areas where masks were mandated, reports CNBC.
The new requirement comes as concern continues to rise over the omicron variant of COVID-19 and brings into question how the holiday shopping season will operate amid a slew of new infections.
“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures in stores to support the wellbeing 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 down all of its stores in 2020 as the global pandemic began taking shape, however it has since opened back up all of its stores in the U.S.
Store staff are still required to wear masks and keep the store sanitized, however. The company also is continuing to prioritize online pickups and increasing space for social distancing in its store locations.
“This is a busy time of year in our stores,” Apple said in a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. “Proactively monitoring and managing store occupancy will enable you to engage with customers and teammates at a distance that feels more comfortable.”
The U.S. is currently reporting almost 120,000 new cases of COVID-19 every single day, which is up 25% from Thanksgiving numbers, according to John Hopkins University data.
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