All Apple Stores in France are closing from tomorrow as the country returns to a stricter lockdown. Previously, some flagship stores in the center of the city had remained open, while those in shopping centers have remained closed since the end of January.

Although France tomorrow enters its third national lockdown, the move by Apple is actually a voluntary one …

The French government announced the new lockdown after COVID-19 cases doubled between February and March, and the number of patients in intensive care units exceeded the peak seen during the second lockdown. The new rules come into force tomorrow.

A strict curfew is in place from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., with very few acceptable reasons for leaving home during this time. Outside these hours, everyone must remain within 10 km (6 miles) of home except for stated reasons:

  • Commuting to and from work, school or training place; carrying out essential business trips that cannot be postponed;
  • Medical appointments that cannot be carried out remotely or postponed; obtaining medicines; 
  • Essential family reasons, assisting vulnerable persons, persons in a precarious situation or taking care of children;
  • Persons with a disability and their accompanying person;
  • Judicial or administrative summons; meetings with legal professionals that cannot be conducted remotely or postponed;
  • Participating in a mission of general interest upon request from an administrative authority;
  • Transit travel related to long distance journeys;
  • Shopping for essential supplies, for professional supplies, to collect orders or deliveries, or moving house. 
  • Going to or from places of worship, libraries, etc.;
  • Judicial and administrative procedures.

The “essential and professional supplies” exemption could allow Apple Stores in France to remain open, but MacGeneration reports the company has opted to err on the side of caution.

Stores in city centers such as Lille, Bordeaux, those in central Paris […] had remained open, while all those in shopping centers closed on January 30 during the last sanitary measures. It’s a return to the general shutdown situation of a year ago.

Their activity – sale of computer products and after-sales service – makes them part of the list of so-called essential businesses, but Apple has always tended, in the case of this crisis, to do more than less and to favor closures.

In the US, the beginning of March saw all 270 American stores open for the first time in a year.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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