Apple today announced that it is temporarily closing all of its retail locations outside of Greater China until March 27, due to the continuing COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. The announcement means Apple stores around the globe will be closed for the next two weeks.
In an open letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the best way to minimize the spread of the coronavirus is to reduce population density and maximize social distance, which is why Apple Stores are closing. The company’s stores in Italy and Spain were already shuttered, but stores in other countries, including the United States, have remained open until now.
As of today, all of our stores in Greater China have reopened. I also want to thank our operations team and partners for their remarkable efforts to restore our supply chain. What we’ve learned together has helped us all develop the best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response.
One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.
We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com. I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers’ lives. We are all so grateful to you.
All Apple hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with “business-as-usual” operations. The company has expanded its leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures.
On Friday it was revealed that an employee on leave from the Third St. Promenade in Santa Monica, California had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The employee had been on leave to take care of a relative since March 2, which was 10 days before being diagnosed.