Apple Is Getting Rid of This on Tuesday, Reports Say
Sources say the company is making a significant change soon.
People across the country have been shedding their masks over the last month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent shockwaves across the country by getting rid of mask recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals on May 13, and retailers all over quickly updated their policies. Major U.S. companies like Walmart, Trader Joe's, Target, and Starbucks started lifting their mask requirements as soon as the CDC's new guidance was released, and now Apple may be the next to make this change: The company is likely getting rid of its mask requirements for vaccinated customers on Tuesday.
Apple will be dropping its mask requirements for vaccinated customers at U.S. stores as early as June 15, Bloomberg reports. Insider sources familiar with the company's operations told the news outlet that the tech company has already started to inform retail employees at affected stores of the change. Employees were also allegedly told they won't be required to ask customers for proof of vaccination. Best Life reached out to Apple for confirmation, but has not yet heard back.
Employees working in the company's retail space won't be able to hang up their masks just yet, but according to a company memo sent to corporate employees, the mask requirement will be dropped at some of the company's U.S. offices in Cupertino, California.
"Given the progress being made in response to COVID-19 in the U.S., we wanted to let you know that a number of sites are now moving to the next phase of resumption and will begin to operate under Phase 3 onsite protocol," the memo states. "In Phase 3, where allowed, Apple protocols are being updated to permit optional masking for vaccinated individuals. Physical distancing requirements are also being relaxed in this phase."
Apple could choose to change its plan to drop mask requirements or delay the change. However, June 15 is also the day that California is officially reopening. The state—where Apple is based—will be lifting the bulk of its COVID restrictions then, making it one of the last in the country to do so, per The New York Times.
Similarly, the tech giant will be one of the last corporations to lift mask requirements for vaccinated customers. When several major companies announced they were lifting mask requirements in May, Bloomberg reported that Apple had decided that mask mandates and other COVID-related procedures would "remain in place" in its U.S. retail stores while the company evaluated health and safety measures.