Apple is dropping its COVID-19 mask mandate for in-person shoppers starting this week, allowing vaccinated customers to enter several of its U.S. stores without face cover, according to Bloomberg.
Workers must continue to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status, but will not ask customers for proof that they have been vaccinated, according to the report, which quotes people with knowledge of the matter. Apple is also dropping its mask requirement for its office workers in some regions, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg.
“Given the progress made in response to Covid-19 in the United States, we wanted to let you know that a number of sites are now moving into the next recovery phase and will begin operating under the Phase 3 on-site protocol.” , indicates the memo. read, according to Bloomberg. “In phase 3, when permitted, Apple protocols are updated to allow optional masking for those vaccinated. Physical distancing requirements are also relaxed during this phase.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CBS MoneyWatch.
Companies in various industries are revising their mask policies as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and more Americans are vaccinated. While efforts to relax coronavirus-related practices may offer a semblance of normalcy, they can also exacerbate tensions between employers and workers.
Many companies should take a middle-of-the-road approach, asking workers returning to the office to certify that they are vaccinated if they choose not to wear a mask. This position falls somewhere between relying on a pure honor system and asking workers for physical proof of vaccination, such as a copy of their vaccination record from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For example,also said fully vaccinated employees in states that have dropped mask requirements can become maskless on company premises. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated employees should continue to wear masks, except when in their desks. The investment bank also asks employees to register their immunization status through a company application indicating the dates of vaccination and the manufacturer of the vaccine.
A number of major U.S. retailers, including Walmart and Trader Joe’s, said in Mayin stores in states without a mask warrant after the CDC said it was no longer recommending masks for those fully vaccinated.