(Bloomberg) – Apple Inc. plans to drop its requirement for masks for vaccinated customers in many U.S. stores starting next week, a move that will mark another major retailer moving away from the then Covid-19 safety protocol that states relax restrictions.
The tech giant has started advising retail workers of the impending change in affected markets, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified to discuss policy changes that were not made. advertisement. The change will take effect on Tuesday, and employees have been told they will not be required to ask customers for an immunization check.
Workers will still need to wear masks in stores, Apple told staff. The company could change its plans or delay easing the restriction. The face covering requirement will also be dropped at some of the U.S. offices of the Cupertino, Calif., Based company, according to a note sent to company employees.
“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.” , according to the memo. “In phase 3, when permitted, Apple protocols are updated to allow optional masking for those vaccinated. Physical distancing requirements are also relaxed in this phase. “
An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on the changes.
Apple was one of the first companies to close stores as the epidemic spread globally. In March 2020, he announced he was closing hundreds of stores and encouraged employees to work remotely.
The planned change in the company’s mask policy change fits California’s schedule to reopen the state on Tuesday and ease most restrictions on those vaccinated. Apple previously relaxed its mask requirements in other regions, including Australia.
The company told staff earlier this month that they are expected to return to the office by September. It begins its mandatory return to the office as a hybrid pilot program that allows staff to work from home two days per week and up to two additional weeks remotely per year.
Several other retailers including Starbucks Corp., Walmart Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Trader Joe’s, recently relaxed their mask requirements.
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