British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that England will begin a second nationwide four-week lockdown, with the closure of non-essential stores and travel restrictions effectively forcing the closure of all Apple Stores across the country during the most of November.
Announced on Saturday, Johnson outlined the plan, which is expected to start from Thursday and end on December 2. For the four-week period, stores, stores and other hospitality services will be required to close, with the exception of schools and colleges and places that serve take-out or delivery food.
Citizens should be limited to meeting someone outside their home outside, reports BBC News. Home work is encouraged where possible, although essential workers are allowed to come to work.
The new restrictions apply only to England, but follow other COVID-19 measures implemented in connected countries. Scotland is set to launch a new set of regional restrictions from November 2, with different levels affecting shopping, dining and travel. Wales is currently in a 17-day nationwide lockdown, which will end on November 9.
How will this affect Apple?
The new lockdown will effectively force 33 of the 38 UK Apple Stores to close from Thursday. Otherwise, the 2 Cardiff Apple Store in St Davids in Wales and Victoria Square in Belfast are already closed, while the stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh will remain open.
For consumers, closures and non-essential travel restrictions will make it more difficult to purchase Apple products in person, as well as to collect or drop off items at stores for assistance. With the prospect of an impending lockdown for several weeks, most consumers will have resigned themselves to placing their next pre-orders for the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max online or through carriers, instead of standing in line. and pick it up in stores.
The restrictions are highly unlikely to affect online orders from the Apple Store, as mail order services will generally continue to operate during these lockdown times. However, the combination of consumers ordering online and the potentially reduced number of staff in fulfillment centers could lead to delivery issues down the line.
England isn’t the only country where Apple Stores are temporarily closed as a precautionary measure, but it is the latest country to implement tougher measures that also affect Apple Stores.
France went into a national lockdown from Thursday, with similar orders for people to stay at home unless necessary. In Belgium, non-essential shops and businesses offering personal services must be closed until mid-December.