As coronavirus outbreaks spike in some areas of the United States, Apple is planning to close retail stores located in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.
Apple began reopening stores in the United States in May, and as of this week, 154 of the company’s 271 stores had been reopened. Coronavirus cases are climbing in some places in the U.S., however, and Apple is reclosing locations in affected areas.
Apple will be closing eleven of its retail stores, but it’s not yet clear which stores are being closed. Apple had reopened all 18 of its stores in Florida, five in Arizona, three in North Carolina, and one in South Carolina. Apple in a statement said that it is temporarily closing stores in “an abundance of caution” and is closely monitoring the situation.
Apple’s retail chief, Deirdre O’Brien in a letter to customers amid of store openings said that Apple will only reopen stores when its confident it can safely serve customers.
Decisions to close or reopen stores are based on data evaluation, such as local cases, near and long-term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. O’Brien warned that Apple would not hesitate to close stores again if coronavirus cases spiked. “These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant,” O’Brien said.
In stores that have reopened, Apple is implementing safety measures that include mandatory masks, social distancing, frequent cleaning, temperature checks, and more. In some locations, stores are open only for repairs and curb-side pickup, while others are open but with a limited number of people allowed in at one time.