As of this week, Apple is reopening dozens of its retail stores after months of them being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite being some of the most foot-trafficked retail spaces in the world, Apple was actually one of the first companies to take action and proactively close stores when the pandemic started spreading around the world in February and March, even before mandatory lockdowns went into place in many areas.
In a public note to customers published on the company’s website, Apple has revealed it’s now opened almost 100 of its 510 retail stores around the world. In that note, however, Apple’s retail and human resources head, Deirdre O’Brien, revealed that the company is taking great steps to ensure that both employees and customers are able to operate in a safe environment that minimizes the chances of COVID-19 being transmitted at its stores. Here’s how:
- All customers will need to wear masks: All Apple retail employees and any customer entering an Apple store will be required to wear a face mask. If a customer doesn’t have a face mask when they show up, they will be given a free one by Apple before they are allowed to enter.
- Mandatory temperature checks: Likewise, all customers will be required to submit to a temperature check before they can enter the Apple store.
- Limited occupancy: once inside an Apple store, customers will find it to be more sparsely populated than usual. This is because Apple is limiting the number of customers that can enter its retail stores at any one time.
- Enhanced deep cleanings: Finally, Apple says retail stores will undergo “enhanced deep cleanings” throughout the day to wipe down and sanitize all display products and surfaces, as well as other highly trafficked areas in the store.
Of the store openings this week, 25 of those are in the U.S., including stores in Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Stores will also open in California and Washington, but with curbside service only.
Announcing the openings, Apple reminds customers that similar measures have been in place in its Greater China stores for months now, with great success. However, Apple’s O’Brien notes that “a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.”