Last week Apple announced that its retail stores outside of China would be closed until March 27, in order to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. However, it now seems as if Apple has decided to keep its retail stores closed for an indefinite period of time.
As 9to5Mac points out, Apple has previously had a banner on its homepage alerting visitors that “Our retail stores are closed until March 27.” This banner first appeared over the weekend. But now if you visit Apple.com the banner reads, “Our retail stores are closed until further notice.”
The change is startling as the new banner suggests Apple now plans to keep stores closed for the foreseeable future and can’t say with certainty when they might be open again. The change could be attributed to the fact that the Trump administration yesterday advised that people should avoid congregating in gatherings of more than 10 people. If you’ve ever been in an Apple Store, you know it’s rare that there are fewer than 10 people congregating in any one area of the store.
It should be noted that Apple’s new “until further notice” banner is only showing on its U.S. website. Right now it’s not clear if only U.S. stores will remain closed until, potentially, after March 27, or if stores located in other countries will as well. We’ve reached out to Apple for clarification and will update this post with any reply.