Apple Is Making This Major Change at Its Stores, Starting Today

The tech giant says the evolving nature of the pandemic has led to this policy overhaul.

Although the oppressive wave of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered by the Delta variant has receded substantially, parts of the country are seeing upticks again with the arrival of cooler fall weather, which has driven more people indoors for gatherings and activities. The virus still very much remains a factor of everyday life around America—and so does personal protective equipment such as masks and sanitizer. But around the country, businesses large and small are choosing to enforce rules differently, and those rules are constantly changing. Read on for the latest development happening at Apple stores across the U.S.

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Apple will no longer enforce a mask mandate at its stores.

The exterior of an Apple retail store with shoppers and staff inside

As of Nov. 5, Apple will eliminate the mask requirement for shoppers at many of its U.S. retail stores. The company cites the recent decline in cases as well as an increased share of the public having been vaccinated, according to a report in Bloomberg. 

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Not all Apple stores are dropping the mask mandate.

A young man wearing a backpack testing out an iMac computer in an Apple store

Not all of Apple's stores across the U.S. will be affected by the change right away. The rollout of the modified policy will begin at more than 100 out of approximately 270 of the company's stores across the country before gradually expanding to additional stores in the days ahead. The mandate will be removed at some of the stores throughout several states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, New York, and New Jersey, according to the Bloomberg report. All employees of Apple's stores will be required to continue wearing masks.

Apple's mask policy has changed multiple times along along with changing pandemic circumstances.

Shopper walking with an Apple store bag

After vaccines rolled out, Apple dropped the requirement that customers wear a mask when entering its stores as long as they were fully vaccinated. However, the company reversed that policy again in July, as the Delta variant triggered the new surge.

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Experts continue to recommend masks indoors for unvaccinated people.

Apple Store in Santa Monica, California

While the status of official mask mandates varies around the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 2 years of age or older who is not fully vaccinated wear a mask in indoor public places. In general, the CDC advises, people don't need to wear a mask outdoors—but the agency recommends that you consider it in crowded outdoor spaces and for activities that put you in close contact with people who aren't vaccinated.

Masks are still required in many public places around the country.

Group of young adult friends standing against a wall, using smart phones and wearing protective face masks.

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is still a requirement on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations, per the CDC.

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Alesandra Dubin
Alesandra Dubin is a lifestyle editor and writer based in Los Angeles. Read more
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