Apple Closes New York Stores, As Omicron Infections Surge

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Apple closes its New York stores in 11 locations to casual shoppers, but will allow buyers to pick up devices outside the shop

Apple has closed its stores in New York City to casual shoppers as infections from the Omicron variant of Coronavirus continues to rise.

CNBC reported that Apple has closed its stores at 11 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, but the stores are not completely closed down like during previous lockdowns.

Apple’s decision comes as the state of New York broke a single-day record for new Covid-19 cases on Christmas Eve, when it reported 49,708 in a single day. The number of new Covid-19 cases in New York City has reportedly skyrocketed more than 600 percent in the past two week.

Store closures

Apple has closed its retail stores on Monday, but those ordering online can still pick up products outside those stores.

It’s not known at this stage how long the store closures will last.

“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees,” the company was quoted as saying in a statement Monday.

“We remain committed to a comprehensive approach for our teams that combines regular testing with daily health checks, employee and customer masking, deep cleaning and paid sick leave.”

Two weeks ago Apple brought back the mask requirement for all visitors to its retail stores, as the much more infectious Omicron variant began to spread across the United States, the UK and other parts of the world.

Apple also before Christmas scrapped its February return date for staff returning to Apple offices and campuses, and did not bother to set a new return date, opting instead for a “yet to be determined” date.

At the same time Apple closed three stores in Miami, Annapolis and Ottawa (Canada) because of a surge in cases there.

Previous closures

All the employees at those three stores will be tested before the stores are reopened, the company said.

Apple’s retail staff are on the front line of the Coronavirus pandemic, and have access to weekly at-home tests.

In February 2020 Apple closed all of its 42 stores in China in February 2020, when the full horror of the Coronavirus pandemic was still limited to the Chinese mainland.

But then Apple was forced to close most of its retail locations around the world, as the Covid-19 pandemic rolled out across the world in the first quarter of 2021.

Apple, it should be remembered, has a total of 271 stores in the United States, and a total 510 stores around the world.