Apple will once again require masks to be worn in all of its U.S. retail stores in response to Covid-19 infections that are increasing across the country.
The company made the change on Tuesday, with its store websites indicating that face coverings would be required when visiting those locations, regardless of vaccination status.
“We regularly monitor conditions and will adjust our in-store health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees,” Apple said in an emailed statement to the Financial Times.
“Amid the increase in cases in many communities, we now require all customers to join our team members in wearing masks when they visit our stores.”
In recent weeks, Apple has dropped face mask requirements for customers in many US states, following local regulations and making face coverings optional for visitors in about half of the locations in its store network. Retail.
However, rates of daily Covid-19 cases across the country have since started to increase, particularly in cold states where residents spend more time indoors.
The United States has recorded an average of more than 116,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day over the past week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This represents an increase of over 80% from a three-month low in late October, but is down about 29% from high summer levels and compares to rates of over 200,000 cases per day at the same time last year.
Several states, including Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington, have implemented mask warrants, requiring residents to wear face coverings in indoor public places. , regardless of their vaccination status. A similar requirement goes into effect Wednesday in Apple’s home state of California.