Bloomberg reports that customers who visit U.S. Apple Stores in the future will be required to wear masks at all retail locations.
Apple has dropped the requirement that employees and customers be vaccinated in June. However, earlier in June Apple required employees in certain regions to wear masks, and encouraged others to do so.
Customers and employees who live in areas with the COVID-19 disease will now need to wear masks inside Apple retail locations. This applies even to those who have been vaccinated. Starting Wednesday, July 29, select stores will require masks. Cases have been reported in many parts of the United States indicating that the Delta variant is more contagious than original COVID-19 strains.
Apple sent a memo to employees informing them about the changes.
"After thoroughly reviewing the most recent CDC recommendations and analyzing safety and health data for your area, we have updated our guidance regarding face masks in your store. Customers and employees will need to wear face masks in stores starting July 29 - even if they are vaccinated. The company stated that the move is being made "out of an abundance caution."
Apple will require all employees to wear masks and also ask retail staff to be vaccinated. Apple's memo states that Apple encourages all employees who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to get it. The vaccine is not necessary at this time.
Apple has not yet closed any of its retail stores, nor do they appear to be planning to. However, the company announced last week that corporate employees would not be returning to work until October. Apple originally intended to have its employees back in the office for three days per week beginning in September.