All Apple Stores except one will reopen in Australia on Thursday, May 7, claim the official Apple webpages for 21 of 22 brick and mortar stores.
Australian Apple Stores, like all others outside China, have been closed since March 14. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Apple had previously confirmed it would be reopening Australian Apple Stores soon, but had not yet given a date. A report by 9to5Mac highlighted local Apple Store listings in Australia confirming the date of the reopening.
The Australian store reopening is the biggest retail reopening Apple has undertaken so far outside China. While Apple has already reopened Apple Stores in South Korea and, on Tuesday, in Austria, each of these markets have only Apple Store each.
Australia has had a relatively small number of coronavirus cases. According to official stats, there have been 6,847 confirmed cases and 96 deaths.
Australia store reopening: Shopping won’t be totally the same
Things won’t completely be back to normal, though. The stores are operating on limited opening hours. Apple will also require customers to undergo temperature checks before entering the stores. Only a limited number of people will be allowed to enter the stores at any one time. Masks must also be worn, “Today at Apple” sessions are temporarily paused, and shoppers are advised not to carry out extended browsing. Where possible, customers are recommended to shop online.
As noted, one Australian Apple Store — Apple Sydney — will stay closed. Apple Sydney has been closed since January for renovations. It is possible that the COVID-19 lockdown has delayed this construction.
Apple still has not revealed exactly when Apple Stores will reopen in North America. Speaking with Bloomberg Tim Cook said that “just a few, not a large number” of stores in the United States will re-open in the first half of May. He said that Apple will, “look at the data and make a decision city by city, county by county, depending on the circumstances in that particular place.”