At the beginning of this month, Apple was forced to temporarily shut down all its facilities in mainland China due to coronavirus concerns.
The plan at the time was to keep the stores shut until at least Sunday, February 9, with plans to restart work on Monday, February 10. However, it turns out that Apple is still evaluating that plan, and it’s possible that many of Apple’s stores in the region remain closed beyond February 10.
That’s according to an email sent out to employees by Apple’s Head of People, Deidre O’Brien. MacGeneration was able to get the email and publish it in its entirety. The note details how some Apple employees are planning to transition back to work life early next week, while others are still waiting on a final word in that regard.
Based on the letter, Apple is still planning to open its corporate offices and its contact centers in China “next week”, but doesn’t provide a specific date in the email.
We are working toward reopening Apple’s Corporate Offices and Contact Centers in China next week. We recognize that personal movement and travel restrictions are ongoing and schools are closed in many places, and managers will be working with their teams to offer additional support. You will receive a follow up communication shortly with more information.
As far as retail stores go, though, Apple is still working on determining a proper time to open the doors again, which will be determined, O’Brien asserts, sometime next week. So it’s likely that retail stores will remain closed beyond February 10.
Apple’s Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking.
The coronavirus is a global health crisis, declared as such by the World Health Organization (WHO). Over 600 people have died due to the virus to this point, with far more infected all over the world. It’s vital to have an overabundance of caution in this regard, so it makes sense that Apple may delay the reopening of its stores based on the information it has access to.