Apple plans to begin the reopening of U.S. retail stores that were closed due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
According to Bloomberg, the company initially closed all its 270 U.S. stores in March. Apple started to reopen locations in May, but later re-closed more than 120 of them in recent months. They are again opening stores as COVID-19 infections slow their spread in some areas of the country.
Sources who know about the matter said that a small number of stores will reopen at the end of August. However, the stores will operate on an appointment-only basis.
“The company reportedly began informing retail employees of the reopenings this week by telling staff that stores will continue to follow local guidelines for social distancing and the number of people allowed inside at once,” Fox Business reported.
Last month, Apple announced the re-closures at store locations in Alabama, California, Georgia, and Idaho. Re-closures in Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah also happened.
“Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” Apple said last month. “We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”
The company reportedly reassigned thousands of retail employees to online sales and support positions.
According to Bloomberg, the reopening process comes at a key time for the company – “which plans to launch new iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and other devices in the coming months for the holiday season.”