As Italy fights to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Apple is temporarily closing a single store location in Italy on orders of the Italian government.
The mall-based Apple Oriocenter store, located in the province of Bergamo, will be closed on March 7 and 8. This is the result of a decision by the President of the Council of Ministers that medium and large retail stores, as well as commercial outlets in shopping centers, must close this weekend.
Apple has also canceled “Today at Apple” sessions at select stores through March 8. This comes as Italy faces a limited outbreak of coronavirus in the country. 79 people have so far died in Italy as a result of the coronavirus. This is the largest number outside China, where the novel coronavirus originated.
There have so far been 93,024 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. There have been 3,201 deaths in total. The overwhelming majority of these have been in mainland China. However, cases have been reported in many countries around the world.
Apple reacts to coronavirus
News of the temporary Apple Oriocenter store closure follows news that Apple has added Italy to the list of countries, alongside China and South Korea, that employees are currently barred from traveling to for everything but critical meetings. Apple is encouraging its workers around the world to hold virtual meetings, instead of face-to-face ones, wherever possible. It has also installed hand sanitizers at the front of all its Apple Stores.
Italy isn’t the first country to see Apple Store closures as a result of coronavirus. Last month, Apple closed all its Apple Stores in China. Many of these have now reopened, although Apple’s website for China insists that customers should “please wear a mask and take a temperature test” before entering the stores. Some stores in China are operating with reduced hours.
Via: Apple Insider