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Covid-19: Apple reopens 100 stores, makes masks & temperature checks mandatory

After having closed nearly all its retail stores due to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple has reopened around 100 stores globally. In most stores, the smartphone maker has made face coverings mandatory for both workers and customers and is providing face masks to those who don't bring their own.

Apple has detailed its plans to safely reopen its retail stores worldwide, depending on the COVID-19 situation region by region. The company says it will carefully analyze data including local cases, near and longterm trends, and guidance from national and local health officials, before taking a decision to reopen stores. This comes at a time when certain countries are easing lockdown restrictions depending on the curve of COVID cases in that area. Apple insists they will be cautious and not rush into a decision. The company now has more than 100 stores open worldwide.

“As of today, nearly 100 of our stores globally have been able to open their doors to our customers again,” says Deidre O’Brien, senior vice-president of Retail at Apple, in a letter posted on the company’s website. “We look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near and longterm 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,” she adds. 

Consumers can find a store near them by using the Find a Store tool on the Apple website.

Apple says that for reopened stores, focus will be on limiting occupancy at any given point of time. “Giving everybody lots of room,” as they say. There will also be renewed focus on oneonone, personalized service at the Genius Bar and throughout the store.

“Face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, and we will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door and posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms — like cough or fever — or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID19,” says O’Brien. Every Apple store will also focus on enhanced deep cleanings that place special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas, throughout every day.

Apple also says that in countries and regions where they have an online store, anyone ordering online will have the option of getting their order delivered home or can pick it up from one of the nearby assigned stores.

Apple has also played an active role in supporting the health workers as well as medical infrastructure dealing with COVID cases in the US and around the world. This includes the more than 30 million masks and 10 million custombuilt face shields for doctors and nurses and the partnership with manufacturers in the United States to deploy more than a million testing kits per week. Apple and Google are also working towards releasing a health tracking and contact tracing software for iPhones and Android phones, which will put user privacy as a primary requirement.

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