Remember our article about Apple stores not requiring masks anymore? Yeah, well, fu*k all that. Starting mañana, “more than half” of all Apple stores nationwide will be required to wear masks again.
In a memo obtained by Bloomberg, Apple has notified its retail employees that masks will be required for shoppers and employees equally beginning tomorrow, July 29, regardless of each individual’s vaccination status.
Apple has been requiring employees to wear masks again at a few of its retail stores already, but today’s memo extends that policy to more store locations and makes masks mandatory for customers as well. The change is said to be applying to “more than half” of the 270 stores nationwide.
“After carefully reviewing the latest CDC recommendations, and analyzing the health and safety data for your local area, we are updating our guidance on face masks for your store,” Apple told staff. “Starting July 29, face masks will be required in store for customers and team members — even if they’re vaccinated.” The company added it is making the change “out of an abundance of caution.”– Apple memo obtained by Bloomberg
Another hot topic of discussion in today’s memo, Apple urged retail staff to get vaccinated, but is not requiring it at this time.
“Apple encourages everyone who is eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, to take it,” the company wrote to retail employees. “Please talk to your doctor and decide what’s right for you.”– Apple memo obtained by Bloomberg
Separately, The Verge’s Zoë Schiffer is also reporting – via an Apple memo to employees – that they are reinstating mask mandates at some of its corporate offices in the United States.
Apple’s decision comes from rising cases of the beer flu (Corona Virus), new local mandates, and recent changes of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Apple has not shut down any of its retail stores nor does it look like it has plans to, but last week, the company announced that its corporate employees will not be returning to office until October at least. Originally, Apple had planned to have employees back in the office 3 days a week starting in September.
Apple also began requiring masks for customers in a few counties based on local guidelines.