by Harry Wilmerding –
Apple announced Thursday it would temporarily close three of its stores and delayed its return to work plan following a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Apple stores in Miami is closed through Thursday, while stores in Ottowa, Ontario, and Annapolis, Maryland, are closed through Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company also told employees that it delayed its return to office plan to an undetermined date.
Apple announced Tuesday that it would require all customers to wear masks while shopping in any of its U.S. retail stores.
“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures in stores to support the wellbeing of customers and employees,” an Apple spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Tuesday.
“Amid rising cases in many communities, we now require that all customers join our team members in wearing masks while visiting our stores,” the spokesperson said.
Apple closed all of its stores in 2020 when the pandemic began, according to CNBC. Stores reopened in 2021, requiring all employees to wear masks.
Meanwhile, other large U.S. companies are also implementing strict COVID-19 policies as case numbers grow.
Google told employees Tuesday that they would lose their pay and eventually their jobs if they refused to abide by its COVID-19 policy, which requires submitting proof of vaccination.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the country’s largest bank, told unvaccinated workers in Manhattan that they have to work remotely until they receive a vaccine. Supermarket chain Kroger announced Tuesday that it will remove paid emergency leave for all unvaccinated employees and require some to pay a $50 health insurance surcharge starting in 2022.
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