Apple tells retail employees not to offer AirPods or Apple Watch tryons as coronavirus precaution

Apple is rolling out additional changes to its retail store practices as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Business Insider reports that Apple Store employees are being told not to offer Apple Watch or AirPods try-ons for the foreseeable future.

This is part of Apple’s work to protect Apple Store employees and customers during the coronavirus outbreak, the report says, but there is not an outright ban on try-ons. If a customer specifically requests to try-on AirPods or an Apple Watch, employees can oblige. The key here is that employees are being told not to offer try-ons.

The report explains:

Apple is scaling back Apple Watch try-ons at some of its retail stores in an effort to combat the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to sources familiar with the matter. Apple Store employees are being instructed not to encourage customers to try on products like the Apple Watch and AirPods, and to only allow customers to do so upon request.

Apple Stores have long offered Apple Watch try-ons, allowing users to try out the different case sizes and band designs. Customers can also try on AirPods Pro to experience the in-ear fit and different sizing options.

Apple retail stores remain open around the world during the coronavirus outbreak, but with new measures to help control crowd sizes as well as deep cleaning protocols and hand sanitizing stations. Apple has closed all of its retail stores in Italy for the indefinite future, it announced this afternoon.

9to5Mac reported earlier this week that Apple is giving retail and hourly workers unlimited sick leave for coronavirus-like symptoms — with no doctor’s note required. As we said at the time, the coronavirus situation is evolving at a rapid pace, and it’s always possible Apple ends up closing retail stores or dramatically reducing hours.

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