Most Apple Stores in the U.S. will require shoppers and staff to wear masks again

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, Apple (and other companies) has had to shift tactics in an effort to keep shoppers and employees alike safe. To that end, the company has made a decision that will go into effect this week, and, as it stands, does not have an end date.

As first reported today by Bloomberg, Apple is looking to reinstate its own mask mandate in its retail stores across the United States. The policy will begin on Thursday, July 29, 2021, and will be live in most of the stores within the continental U.S. The mask requirement will be present for both shoppers and staff.

Apple informed retail employees of the change in an internal memo recently. It’s a relatively minor shift, all things considered, considering Apple had already informed employees they needed to keep wearing masks for the time being. But now the masks will be mandatory for shoppers who enter the store as well.

According to the report, “more than half” of the 270 Apple Stores in the United States will be impacted by the new mask mandate. Per the original story:

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,’ Apple told staff. ‘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.

Apple is also encouraging employees to get vaccinated, but is not going as far to make it a requirement moving forward (yet):

It also urged retail staff to get vaccinated, but is not requiring it at this time. ‘Apple encourages everyone who is eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, to take it,’ the company wrote to retail employees. ‘Please talk to your doctor and decide what’s right for you.’

So, something to be aware of if your Apple Store is in that new mask mandate net.