Apple today issued a letter responding to the growing coronavirus pandemic and outlining steps the company is taking to protect the safety of customers and employees. As part of the precautions, all Apple retail stores outside of Greater China will temporarily close until March 27, effective immediately.

Tim Cook:

We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com. I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers’ lives. We are all so grateful to you.

Closing stores is just one of several steps Apple is taking to do its part in mitigating the effects of coronavirus. Apple says deep cleaning will continue at all of its sites. New health screenings and temperature checks are being added to all offices. Hourly workers will continue receiving pay.

We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures.

Apple says its donations to the global COVID-19 response have reached $15 million worldwide. The company will match employee donations two-to-one.

Earlier this week we saw limited Apple Store closures in critical regions and Today at Apple session cancellations. Although the move to close all locations inconveniences customers, the risk to public health necessitated sweeping action. As a leader in retail, Apple’s actions will undoubtedly spark other brands to make similar decisions for the safety of customers and employees.

Apple has also switched WWDC to an online-only format for 2020, and opened a dedicated coronavirus spotlight on Apple News.

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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.

A post shared by Deirdre O’Brien (@deirdre.at.apple) on

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