Apple has revealed that it expects to gradually re-open its retail stores around the world in the first half of April.
The Cupertino based tech company had temporarily shuttered its stores across the globe due to the coronavirus threat and was planning to re-open them by March 27, but has now delayed the phase openings another week.
According to an internal memo from Apple Retail and People SVP Deirdre O'Brien, the company is looking to extend the work from home arrangement till April 5, and will continue to evaluate the situation weekly depending on the employee’s location.
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Apple stores re-open
Apple has over 500 stores globally, and while its stores in Mainland China are already operational, other stores will be resume operations in a staggered manner.
Flexible working options and the closure of retail stores were two important steps that the company took to safeguard its employees and customers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump suggested that closing down businesses to fight the Covid-19 outbreak may be more dangerous than the impact of the virus itself. He downplayed the pandemic as flu-like and an unavoidable disease. He also announced that he aims to get companies to resume regular business by Easter, which this year is set for April 12.
However health experts have warned against the resumption of business as it may lead to a spike in infections, adding that hospitals in the US are still unprepared to handle thousands of cases if reported in a short span of time.
Apple recently had also cancelled its annual developer's conference, WWDC citing coronavirus fear. Like Microsoft and Google, the company decided to host this conference online instead of a physical event. It is also trying to get its supply chain and production facilities to work at the full capacity as it is aiming to launch the next-generation iPhones in coming fall.
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