Apple is preparing to reopen a select number of retail stores in the United States next week. The company closed the majority of its 510 locations worldwide in the first half of March and has recently taken steps to restore critical support and service functions at a handful of stores across Australia, Austria, Germany, and South Korea.

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The number of coronavirus cases reported varies significantly from state to state. Apple will focus its initial reopening efforts on regions less impacted by infection. The first Apple Stores in the U.S. to begin welcoming customers again are located in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska. Apple operates six stores across the four states.

Apple confirmed the reopenings to 9to5Mac:

We’re excited to begin reopening stores in the US next week, starting with some stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska. Our team is constantly monitoring local heath data and government guidance, and as soon as we can safely open our stores, we will.

We’ve missed our customers and look forward to offering our support. With many working and learning from home, our primary focus will be providing service and support at the Genius Bar. We’ll open initially with additional safety procedures including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy. Our new social distance protocol allows for a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers. We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pick up.

As local guidance varies around the US there may be slight modifications to our procedures. As always, our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19 and those working around the clock to treat, study and contain its spread.

Idaho’s only Apple Store, Boise Towne Square, will reopen on May 11 at 11:00 A.M. Reopening times for the remaining locations across the affected states will be announced a later date.

To reopen in the U.S., Apple is implementing precautions similar to those it tested when stores reopened in Asia, Europe, and Australia. Earlier this week we saw how 21 of Australia’s Apple Stores fared on their first day open in a new culture of social distancing. Reopening safely in the U.S., the country suffering more coronavirus-related deaths than any other in the world, will be a greater challenge. Many Americans are still uncomfortable with the idea of spending time in public spaces.

Apple’s COVID-19 response at a glance:

Apple Retail's COVID-19 Response At A Glance

For more information on Apple’s free no-contact delivery options, service and support availability, and more, check out the new Apple Store Online hub and Apple’s Temporary Retail Store Closure FAQ.

Follow our retail guide for in-depth coverage of the latest Apple Store news.

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About the Author

Michael Steeber

Michael is a Creative Editor who covered Apple Retail and design on 9to5Mac. His stories highlighted the work of talented artists, designers, and customers through a unique lens of architecture, creativity, and community.

Contact Michael on Twitter to share Apple Retail, design, and history stories: @MichaelSteeber