Vaccinated customers will reportedly be allowed in US Apple Stores without having to wear a mask as early as this week, but employees would still need to wear masks in the stores. The company has begun informing retail employees of the changing policy in affected markets, Bloomberg reported Sunday.
The change could go into effect as early as Tuesday, Bloomberg reported, noting that it would coincide with California's timeline to reopen the state.
"Given the progress being made in response to COVID-19 in the US, we wanted to let you know that a number of sites are now moving to the next phase of resumption and will begin to operate under Phase 3 onsite protocol," according to a memo seen by the news agency. "In Phase 3, where allowed, Apple protocols are being updated to permit optional masking for vaccinated individuals. Physical distancing requirements are also being relaxed in this phase."
Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The move to end the COVID-19 safety protocol comes as states ease restrictions on mask wearing and social distancing in public.
Apple was one of the first major retailers to close its stores to slow the spread of the virus. The company reopened all its stores in March, enforcing mask requirements and operating at reduced capacity. It also performed temperature checks before letting people into its stores.
Apple has told employees they won't be required to ask customers for verification of vaccination, Bloomberg reported.