Apple opening some US stores next week, with new social distancing rules
"As soon as we can safely open our stores, we will," says the company.
Ian SherrFormer Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
is beginning to open its retail stores around the globe, another sign that the weeks-long stay-at-home orders we've all been under to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus are starting to come to an end.
The tech giant closed its stores in March as the seriousness of the virus and the speed of its spread pushed many governments to order people to shelter in place, forcing businesses to close as well. The coronavirus has so far killed more than 272,000 patients and infected more than 3.9 million people worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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Apple has begun opening some stores outside the US, such as in China and Australia, though with social distancing rules in place. The company said in a statement that it plans to open stores in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho and South Carolina. "Our team is constantly monitoring local heath data and government guidance, and as soon as we can safely open our stores, we will," Apple said in its statement. Apple's moves were reported earlier by CNBC.
The tech giant's moves mark a possible sign the company believes the US is beginning to move into a new phase of dealing with the virus, during which people will safely be able to venture out of their homes for more than just groceries and essential needs and services. Apple was one of the first companies to raise an alarm that the coronavirus was turning into a worldwide danger, warning investors in a February statement that the virus would likely affect its ability to make and sell products.
Apple said it's instituting new safety rules for its stores as they reopen. The company said it'll limit the number of people who can be in a store at the same time. Apple stores tend to attract crowds, and they serve as destinations in many malls. "We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pick up," the company added.
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