Amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., Apple will now require all customers to wear a mask when visiting its stores nationwide. The company said it would also enforce occupancy limits. This move comes after Apple recently in more than 100 of its stores across the country on the eve of Thanksgiving weekend. “Amid the growing number of cases in many communities, we now require all customers to join our team members in wearing masks during visits to our stores,” Apple said in a statement to .
In a letter issued by the house, Apple said it made the decision “after reviewing the latest trends in the number of COVID-19 cases in the US.” A recently sequenced omicron variant raises new concerns about the direction of the pandemic. The World Health Organization announced on Tuesday that the new variant is spreading faster than any previous strain of COVID-19.
“Even if omicron causes less severe disease, a large number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems,” warned WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. From Tuesday, the omicron strain accounted for approximately 3.0 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, up from 0.4 percent the week before.
The unpredictable nature of the pandemic has forced Apple to frequently change its retail policies as the situation evolves. The timing of this latest rise could affect the company’s end result as it looks like it will close another hectic holiday season.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, regardless of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission for the partners.