Apple reinstates mask requirement at most retail stores in the U.S.

Apple is officially reinstating its mask requirement at most of its retail stores in the United States. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has sent a memo to retail employees informing them that masks will be required for shoppers and employees beginning tomorrow, July 29, regardless of vaccination status.

Apple had already started requiring masks for employees at certain stores, but today’s announcement extends that policy to more locations and makes masks mandatory for shoppers as well. The change applies to “more than half” of the 270 stores in the United States.

“After carefully reviewing the latest CDC recommendations, and analyzing the health and safety data for your local area, we are updating our guidance on face masks for your store,” Apple told staff. “Starting July 29, face masks will be required in store for customers and team members — even if they’re vaccinated.” The company added it is making the change “out of an abundance of caution.”

Also in today’s memo, Apple encouraged employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but this is not required.

It also urged retail staff to get vaccinated, but is not requiring it at this time. “Apple encourages everyone who is eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, to take it,” the company wrote to retail employees. “Please talk to your doctor and decide what’s right for you.”

The Verge‘s Zoe Schiffer has also reported that Apple is reinstating mask mandates at some of its corporate offices in the United States. “We are reintroducing the face mask requirement for anyone indoors at Apple facilities unless you are eating, drinking or are alone in an enclosed office or conference room…Outdoors, face masks continue to be optional,” Apple wrote in a memo to corporate employees.

Apple’s change comes after the US Centers for Disease Control also revised masking recommendations this week, saying that people in areas of high COVID-19 transmission should mask up regardless of vaccination status.

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