Apple Stores Will Continue to Require Masks for Now

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear their masks outdoors or in most indoor settings, paving the way for many companies to relax their mask rules.

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Following the recommendation change, several stores announced that they would no longer require vaccinated customers to wear masks inside, including Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, and Costco, but for the time being, Apple retail stores will continue to ask customers to wear masks.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has told its U.S. retail store locations that the mask mandate and other COVID-19 procedures will remain in place for the time being, though it is evaluating health and safety measures. Apple said that its priority is employee and customer safety, and did not provide employees with a timeline for when its guidelines might shift.

The CDC’s mask guidelines do not overrule mandates put in place by states, and while some states have changed their rules to match the CDC’s recommendations, others have not. States like Michigan, Connecticut, North Carolina, Minnesota, and others have updated their mask wearing guidance and will no longer require masks in most settings, but other states like Hawaii and Massachusetts have opted to keep restrictions in place. California, where Apple’s main corporate campuses are located, has not yet announced any mask changes.

Mask rules are likely to continue to change as states and retailers adjust to the CDC’s new recommendations. Apple has required masks in retail locations since the beginning of the pandemic and has opened and closed stores on a rolling basis since last year based on local conditions.

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