Apple is reportedly easing the strict mask requirements for customers visiting some of its retail stores in the United States.

Bloomberg reported that Apple will remove its mask mandate for customers at many US retail stores from Friday. The iPhone maker told staff about the change in an internal memo on Thursday.

Apple reportedly made the decision based on a decline in Coronavirus cases in the US, and a rise in vaccination rates.

COVID Commerce

Mask requirements

The memo also reportedly indicated that the no mask requirement will apply to retail customers at more than 100 of Apple’s 270 US stores from Friday.

More Apple stores will gradually adopt the no mask requirement policy.

And it seems that the new policy about no masks will apply to all Apple customer, including those vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated.

How did the Coronavirus pandemic reshape the retail sector? Read Silicon UK’s Covid Commerce article.

But Apple is keeping the mask requirement for its retail staff in place, and the mask policy will continue for customers in areas where local governments still require indoor masking.

The company added that it will “continue to monitor local guidance and Covid data” throughout the coming holiday season and adjust as conditions warrant, Bloomberg reported.

Pandemic protections

During the Covid-19 pandemic online shopping enjoyed major growth rates, as customers found themselves locked down within their own homes for the best part of 18 months or more.

And that meant that most, if not all, physical retail outlets (other than supermarkets) had to be closed down.

Apple closed most of its 510 stores around the world during the pandemic, including the 270 Apple stores in the United States.

It did however begin re-opening some stores in 2020, with staff checking the temperatures of people entering the store and limiting the number of people at any one time.

There is no word at the time of writing whether the temperature check, or limiting customer numbers in store policies, will remain in force.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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