The global outbreak of the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc, and now Apple is taking yet another step to help try and reduce the COVID-19 disease’s impact.
Update: Apple has provided a statement to Bloomberg regarding the retail store closures throughout Italy. According to the company: “As we support the work to contain and manage the spread of COVID-19, our priority remains the health and safety of everyone in the communities we serve. With that in mind, our stores in Italy will be closed until further notice. We understand customers may need support from Apple during this challenging time and we’ll ensure our online and phone support, as well as online store, remain open for customers. We will closely monitor the situation and look forward to reopening our stores as soon as possible.”
The original article continues below.
In another bold move, Apple is closing all of its retail locations in Italy due to the coronavirus, per @setteBIT (via MacRumors). As the coronavirus continues to spread in the region, the Italian government recently enacted a national quarantine. With that in place, citizens within the region are required to stay indoors unless strictly necessary.
The closures across Italy will go into effect beginning March 12. They are apparently in place for the next week, at the very least, but there is no official word just yet when the Apple Stores will get reopened. Until the stores do reopen, though, Apple is encouraging customers to get online support for their needs.
The aforementioned mandatory quarantine in Italy will be in place until April 3 of this year.
This is not the first time that Apple has closed retail stores in Italy. Earlier this month the company closed some stores in heavily impacted areas, including the Bergamo store. Not too long after that, Apple canceled all Today at Apple sessions in all of its retail stores in the country. And Apple has already issued travel restrictions in Italy.
A similar order of events is happening in the United States, at least in two states. Earlier this week we reported that Apple had canceled all Today at Apple sessions in the Seattle, Washington area, as well as in the San Francisco Bay Area. Apple hasn’t closed any retail stores in the United States, and yet it seems reasonable to assume that might be next depending on how things continue to evolve with the coronavirus — which has just been declared a pandemic.
In related news, there’s another major closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. E3, one of the largest gaming conventions every year that attracts over 60,000 attendees, has been canceled as well. According to the announcement this morning, the folks behind the convention are following the “increased and overwhelming” fears about COVID-19, and have decided that the best way to proceed is to cancel this year’s event altogether.
The event was originally scheduled to take place between June 9 and June 11 in Los Angeles, California.
The E3 team is devastated to share this news. This decision was not reached lightly, but it is the right one for the health and safety of all involved. Read our statement here: https://t.co/1uOWxTerN9 pic.twitter.com/gD2IxNACLX
— E3 (@E3) March 11, 2020
What do you think? Are we one step closer to seeing Apple cancel this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference?