Apple published a letter yesterday explaining its plan to reopen its 510 retail stores. The company is quick to say that it won’t rule out reclosing stores if necessary, and anyone who wants to enter an opened Apple Store will need to wear a face covering.
On March 13th, all of Apple’s retail stores outside Greater China closed due to the ongoing pandemic. Apple recently reopened one of its stores in the U.S. and another 99 stores globally, but this new document details how the company will make decisions to open going forward.
As Apple’s head of retail, Deidre O’Brien, puts it:
Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we’re confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores. We look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.
When a store does reopen, it will have restrictions. Apple will limit occupancy to help with social distancing efforts. And to step into an Apple Store, you’ll have to wear a face covering. If you don’t bring one, Apple will provide them. The company will also insist on temperature checks and basic health screenings (like checking for cough and recent exposure risks).
Many stores will offer curbside pickup and dropoff to help avoid the need to enter the store. And of course, Apple is quick to point out that you can order online and have products shipped to you.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple plans to open 25 stores in the United States, 12 stores in Canda, and ten stores in Italy in the coming week.