Apple closes all 464 Apple Stores outside China until March 27 as coronavirus precaution
Breaking News: Apple has announced that it is closing all of its 464 Apple Stores outside of Greater China until March 27 as a coronavirus precaution, which means stores around the world, including in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain will be closed for the next two weeks.
The news follows after two Apple employees have been confirmed as testing positive for COVID-19.
Within an open letter shared on the official Apple Newsroom, CEO Tim Cook said Apple “wants to continue to play a role in helping individuals and communities emerge stronger” from the crisis.
Cook says following the closure of its retail stores in China when the virus was at its peak in the country, Apple has learnt that “the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance,” and “as rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.”
Apple will continue to take orders through Apple.com and via the Apple Store app.
During the closures, the company will continue to pay its employees their full pay and has offered unlimited sick leave to staff who experience any coronavirus symptoms.
Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s SVP of Retail and People, issued a short statement on Instagram to announce the coming store closures and thank retail employees.
View this post on Instagram
At Apple, there’s nothing more important to us than people — our customers, our team members and the communities we serve. To protect the health and well-being of everyone, we will be closing all Apple retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. I am profoundly grateful to our exceptional team members all around the world who have shown such deep care for our customers and each other during this difficult time. Our teams at Apple will continue to provide exceptional service. Our online stores are open at apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com. Thank you to every member of our Apple family for all you do — today and every day.
“I am profoundly grateful to our exceptional team members all around the world who have shown such deep care for our customers and each other during this difficult time,” O’Brien said.