Bloomberg: U.S. Apple Stores will no longer require face masks starting this week

Apple will drop the mask requirements at a number of its retail stores and offices as soon as this week, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The report says that Apple has informed retail and corporate employees of this change. Retail employees will also not be required to ask maskless customers for their vaccination status.

Retail employees will still be required to wear masks, but customers will not. The report from Bloomberg explains:

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.

Meanwhile, Apple plans to drop the mask requirement at “some” of its corporate offices in Cupertino. Apple made this announcement in a memo to corporate employees, saying that the changes are coming to “a number of sites.” In addition to the relaxed masking requirements, Apple is also loosening social distancing guidelines for corporate sites. The memo says that these corporate protocols apply to “vaccinated individuals.”

“Given the progress being made in response to Covid-19 in the U.S., we wanted to let you know that a number of sites are now moving to the next phase of resumption and will begin to operate under Phase 3 onsite protocol,” according to the memo. “In Phase 3, where allowed, Apple protocols are being updated to permit optional masking for vaccinated individuals. Physical distancing requirements are also being relaxed in this phase.”

Apple joins a long list of companies that have relaxed mask requirements in the United States due to progress being made in COVID-19 vaccinations. Retailers such as Starbucks, Walmart, and Target have also announced changes to their mask policies. Somer retailers are emphasizing that unvaccinated customers should still wear masks, but again, Apple Store employees will not be required to ask for verification of vaccination.

You can keep track of all of the latest Apple Store openings and closings in our detailed guide right here.

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