Apple has extended its store closures, with retail locations now set to stay shuttered “until further notice”.
The company last week announced that it was closing all stores outside of China until March 27 to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. However, in a new banner displayed on its website, Apple confirms: “Our retail stores are closed until further notice,” updated from the previous notification.
It’s worth noting that Apple’s FAQ page still states that stores will open on March 27, which suggests that some retail locations could still reopen on this date depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. Either that or the page simply hasn’t been updated since new guidance was issued.
Due to the closure of almost all of its stores, Apple is extending its return period to 14 days after its retail locations ultimately reopen. It’s also advising users that they can start a repair online, though, as noted by Apple Insider, its window for device pickup for repairs is currently closed.
Apple’s extended closure measures come just hours after Microsoft announced that it was also shutting all 70 of its retail locations until further notice. Like Microsoft, Apple will continue paying all of its staff affected by the closures.
That's not all
This isn’t the only action Apple has taken to get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, the company announced that this year’s WWDC 2020, where it’s due to announce iOS 14, watchOS 7, macOS 10.16, an update to iPadOS, will be an online-only event, rather than the in-person conference it has always been until now.
Apple is also instructing employees of global offices to work remotely in a bid to ensure their safety from Covid-19. Staff who are still required to come on-site would find “new health screenings and temperature checks” there, CEO Tim Cook confirmed.
“The most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance,” Cook adds. “As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.”
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