A growing number of Covid 19 cases has reportedly forced Apple to reinstate the face mask mandate at all its U.S. retail locations.
The Mac-maker had begun relaxing the mask requirement in the fall when cases were dropping. But Apple has now reversed course because of a surge.
Face masks required at U.S. Apple Stores
The news comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman via Twitter.
Breaking on @theterminal: Apple is reinstating its mask mandate at all U.S. retail stores today on rising Covid-19 cases (the mandate had been dropped at about half of its stores). The company will also begin limiting store occupancy once again at several locations.
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) December 14, 2021
“Amid rising cases in many communities, we now require that all customers join our team members in wearing masks while visiting our stores,” Apple said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg.
Face masks will be required for everyone who enters an Apple location, regardless of vaccination status.
The company is also once again limiting the number of customers allowed in a store.
Another Covid-19 surge
Tracking done by The New York Times show that the daily average of Covid-19 cases on December 13 is just over 120,000. That’s a 49% increase over the average from two weeks ago. Deaths are up 40% from two weeks ago.
Face masks were required when Apple stores reopened in 2021 after the worst of the pandemic. But the company started removing the mask mandate that summer. The Delta variant changed that. But again, Apple began lowering the requirement in November after the surge caused by the Delta variant had mostly run its course. But cases began ticking upward shortly thereafter, and the Omicron variant is spreading around the U.S.