Apple has chosen to temporarily close seven of its retail locations across the U.S. and Canada as COVID re-surges. As noted by AppleInsider, the following locations are currently closed:
- Dadeland in Maiami, Florida
- The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach, Florida
- Lenox Square in Atlanta, Georgia
- Highland Village in Houston, Texas
- Summit Mall in Akron, Ohio
- Pheasant Lane in Nashua, New Hampshire
- Sainte-Catherine in Montreal, Quebec
Last week Apple closed the Brickell City Centre location in Miami, the Apple Store in Annapolis, Maryland, and its brick-and-mortar store in downtown Ottawa,
These are the latest moves by Apple in dealing with the resurgence of COVID. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman (via a tweet) says that Apple is reinstating its mask mandate at all U.S. retail stores due to rising Covid-19 cases (the mandate had been dropped at about half of its stores). The company will also begin limiting store occupancy once again at several locations.
Apple dropped its mask requirement for customers at many of its U.S. retail stores on Friday, Nov. 5, based on declining Covid-19 cases and increased vaccinations. Bloomberg reported at the time that 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 was removed at some stores in states including California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Louisiana, New Jersey and Connecticut.
And on Dec. 15, it was announced that Apple employees are no longer going to be returning to corporate offices in February as planned due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and the newly emerging Omicron variant.
A tweet by Zoe Schiffer of NBC News said: Tim Cook just sent out an email delaying Apple’s return to work to a date “yet to be determined.” He also said the company is giving every corporate employee $1,000 to spend on home office equipment.
This is now the fourth time that Apple has revised its schedule for bringing employees back to the office. Originally, Apple planned for workers to return to in-person work in June. Then it was pushed to September. Then it was pushed to October. Then it was pushed to February 2022. Now, the date for a return to the (physical) office is undetermined.