Apple dropped its mask requirement for vaccinated customers and employees back in June, but earlier this month, Apple began requiring employees in select regions to wear masks and encouraged other employees to do so.
Now both customers and employees in areas where the COVID-19 virus is prevalent will need to wear masks when inside an Apple retail location, and this also pertains to those who are vaccinated. Masks will be required in select stores starting on Wednesday, July 29. The Delta variant is more infectious than original COVID-19 strains and cases have been spiking across much of the United States.
Apple informed employees about the change in a memo:
“After carefully reviewing the latest CDC recommendations, and analyzing the health and safety data for your local area, we are updating our guidance on face masks for your store. Starting July 29, face masks will be required in store for customers and team members – even if they’re vaccinated.” The company added it is making the change “out of an abundance of caution.”
In addition to requiring most employees to wear masks, Apple is also asking retail staff to get vaccinated. “Apple encourages everyone who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, to take it,” reads Apple’s memo. At this time, the vaccine is not required.
Apple has not yet shut down any of its retail stores nor does it seem to have plans to, but the company last week announced that its corporate employees will not be returning to offices until October at least. Apple had originally planned to have employees back in the office three days a week starting in September.