Some Apple Stores in the U.S. to drop mask mandate
What you need to know
- Some Apple Stores in the United States are rolling back their mask requirement.
- Customers at select stores will no longer be required to wear a mask.
- Employees, however, will still need to wear a mask at all stores.
Some Apple Stores are trying to return to pre-pandemic life.
Apple Stores in the United States are about to drop their mandatory mask mandate.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is removing the mask mandate for customers at a number of its retail locations in the United States as COVID-19 cases fall and vaccinations increase.
The change will take place beginning at more than 100 of the company's about 270 stores across the U.S. before gradually expanding to additional stores in the coming days. The mandate will be removed at some stores in states including California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Louisiana, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The new mask policy was announced in an internal memo to Apple retail employees Thursday that was obtained by Bloomberg News. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
The internal memo said that Apple's Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) team determined that the current trends allow for the change in the stores where it will be occurring. While customers will no longer be required to wear masks, employees will still need to.
"After careful review, the Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) team, along with leadership, have determined it's safe to update our guidance on masks for customers in your store. "The positive trends in vaccinations, testing, and case counts for your area have made this change possible."
"Team members have longer interactions in store and are in close proximity throughout the day," according to the memo. The mandate will also continue in regions, such as Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, where local governments still require masks indoors.
"The health and safety of our teams and customers remains our highest priority," Apple also told staff. "We will continue to monitor local guidance and Covid data in your area throughout the holiday season, and make adjustments as needed."
Apple has been slowly attempting to return to some sense of pre-pandemic normalcy for a while now. The company has moved forward and backward as far as health guidance in its stores and offices for months.