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Apple will no longer require vaccinated customers to wear masks inside their retail stores in the U.S, a major shift in policy compared to last month, according to Bloomberg.

apple-store-palo-alto.jpg

The new change, expected to go into effect on Tuesday, will no longer require customers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks inside Apple Stores in the United States. Bloomberg notes that Apple has been informing retail leaders and staff of the change, noting that employees will continue to be required to wear masks.
The technology giant has begun informing retail employees of the impending change in impacted markets, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified discussing policy changes that haven’t been announced. The change will go into effect as early as Tuesday, and employees have been told that they won’t be required to ask customers for verification of vaccination.

Workers will still need to wear masks at stores, Apple told staff. The company could change its plans or delay the loosening of the restriction. The requirement for face coverings will also be dropped at some of the Cupertino, California-based company’s U.S. offices, according to a memo sent to corporate employees.
Apple last month told retail employees that mask requirements would stay in place following updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which states that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors or in the majority of indoor settings.

In an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg, Apple says that thanks to the progress that has been made in the U.S., it can now safely begin "moving to the next phase of resumption and will begin to operate under Phase 3 onsite protocol." Phase 3 protocol, according to the memo, includes Apple protocol being updated to "permit optional masking for vaccinated individuals." Physical distancing requirements are also being "relaxed."

As part of the return to normalcy, Apple also plans to begin a slow transition to moving back to in-person work at Apple Park this fall.

Article Link: Apple Stores to Drop Mask Requirement for Vaccinated Customers This Week
 
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KaliYoni

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2016
405
583
Looks like Tim Apple was visiting Mar-a-Lago this weekend.

I have a lot of sympathy for the Apple Store employees who now have to go work in an environment that will be less safe than before...even though many of them are arrogant and unhelpful.
 
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RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,225
245
Iowa, USA
What if the mall containing the store requires masks? That’s going to be case for my local Apple store.
Then wear one? Dropping the requirement means you don't have to if you meet the criteria, not that you can't. :) (That being said, I don't see the Bloomberg article spelling this out, but most companies that have done this still state that local ordinances would take precedence, and presumably Apple isn't intending to imply otherwise...but I suppose this is all still technically just a rumor.)
 

Mr. Awesome

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2016
744
1,600
Idaho, USA
Looks like Tim Apple was visiting Mar-a-Lago this weekend.

I have a lot of sympathy for the Apple Store employees who now have to go work in an environment that will be less safe than before...even though many of them are arrogant and unhelpful.
If people are vaccinated, why should they need to wear masks? How does that make it less of a "safe environment?" If you "follow the SCIENCE" like so many people preach, then it becomes pretty obvious that wearing a mask after being vaccinated is like wearing water wings in the rain: there's no point.
 

Realityck

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,816
2,497
Silicon Valley, CA
Good news, but if vaccinated customers are allowed to take their masks off why not employees too? They’re people too.
Because store management wants to protect their employees, they know the status of employees, but using the honor system for shoppers, hey it’s the grand experiment of post-COVID store operations.
 

Populus

macrumors 68000
Aug 24, 2012
1,953
2,186
Valencia, Spain.
This was a moment I was afraid of. On the outside, I can understand the loosening of the restrictions, but inside the facilities? Ok, Apple Stores have a good ventilation system, I want to think, with HEPA filters and such. However... I am afraid Apple, and other companies, force their employees to not wear a face mask in an indoors workplace. For me, the mask has come to stay, I don’t want to get COVID even when fully vaccinated, because even with the vaccine, infection can happen. I won’t end up on Intensive Care, probably, but COVID is still a bad disease, that can become persistent, tiredness forever....

I will wear mask as long as I am able to, specially indoors. If I am forced to ditch the mask on my workplace... I will have to talk with the syndicates or something. I have the right to preserve my health.
 

Mr. Awesome

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2016
744
1,600
Idaho, USA
Because store management wants to protect their employees, they know the status of employees, but using the honor system for shoppers, hey it’s the grand experiment of post-COVID store operations.
As has been demonstrated many times, though, masks are to protect others, not yourself. If Apple was more concerned about employees than customers, and worried about not knowing customers' vaccination status, then they would mandate masks for all customers, and vaccinated employees wouldn't need masks, right? Seems backwards to me.
 
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