Apple is set to shutter all of its stores in Italy beginning Thursday until further notice as the country goes into total lockdown due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
All 17 stores in Italy have updated their webpages showing that doors will close early Wednesday and the company isn’t saying when they will be reopened.
Apple closed one of its stores in northern Italy near Milan earlier this month. Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte ordered a nationwide quarantine for the entire country on March 9. All movement in the country has been restricted except for necessity, work and health circumstances.
“Following the health precaution measures currently in force, this store will remain closed until a later date,” read a notice posted on the Italian stores’ webpages. “Visit getsupport.apple.com for online support. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
UPDATE 1:00 p.m. PDT: Apple released a statement on the Italian store closures Wednesday to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman in which the tech-giant stated…
“As we support the work to contain and manage the spread of COVID-19, our priority remains the health and safety of everyone in the communities we serve. With that in mind, our stores in Italy will be closed until further notice … we’ll ensure our online and phone support, as well as online store, remain open for customers. We will closely monitor the situation and look forward to reopening our stores as soon as possible.”
Apple closes more stores
The move to close stores comes after Apple closed all of its stores in China temporarily. Apple also placed a travel ban on China, Italy and South Korea, requiring employees to get permission from a vice president for business-critical trips.
Apple is also starting to take preventative measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 at its stores in the US. Today at Apple sessions have been canceled indefinitely in Seattle, San Jose and San Francisco. Reduced store hours or even store closures could be on the horizon in areas of the U.S. impacted by the coronavirus outbreak that has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.