Apple will be requiring customers and staff at most of its more than 270 US retail stores to wear masks even if they are vaccinated, according to a new Bloomberg report, bringing back a requirement that had been removed starting in June. The change goes into effect Thursday.
“After carefully reviewing the latest CDC recommendations, and analyzing the health and safety data for your local area, we are updating our guidance on face masks for your store,” Apple informed workers in a memo obtained by Bloomberg. “Starting July 29, face masks will be required in store for customers and team members — even if they’re vaccinated.” Apple employees who work in its corporate offices have also been told they must wear masks inside of Apple office buildings, Bloomberg reports.
Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
The move comes as COVID-19 case rates are rising in many parts of the country and on the heels of new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations advising people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks indoors in public if “you are in an area of substantial or high transmission” that were issued Tuesday.
Google also upped its response to COVID-19 on Wednesday, saying that it would require employees to be vaccinated before they can return to the office and delaying its full return to offices from September to October 18th. Apple has also pushed its return to the office until October at the earliest.