A Blog by Jonathan Low


May 18, 2020

Apple Stores Are Reopening: Face Masks, Temperature Checks Mandatory

The Apple store experience relies on close, personal interaction.

It is insisting on tough measures for now, but like the airlines, it remains to be seen what the company will do if customers resist. JL

John Koetsier reports in Forbes:

There will be changes in the usual Apple Store experience: limited occupancy, social distancing, mandatory face masks for customers and employees, temperature checks at the door, health questions for customers with symptoms, curbside pickup. The challenging part for some will be the mandatory face masks. Apple will supply them for customers who do not have one, but this has been contentious.
Apple has reopened nearly 100 of its stores globally, according to a blog post published today by Apple senior vice president for retail, Deirdre O’Brien.
In addition, the company has now provided more than 30 million masks and 10 million face shield for health care workers. Apple has also deployed more than a million COVID-19 test kits each week with U.S. manufacturing partners.
While Apple is reopening its retail stores, there will be changes in the usual Apple Store experience.

“As of today, nearly 100 of our stores globally have been able to open their doors to our customers again,” O’Brien says. “We wanted to share a bit about how we’re carrying forward our commitment to care: how it’s informing our decision‑making, the significant steps we’re taking to keep everyone who visits one of our stores safe, and the ways in which our stores will look a little different.”
Those in-store changes include:
  • limiting occupancy
  • social distancing in the store
  • mandatory face masks for customers and employees
  • temperature checks at the door
  • health questions for customers for COVID-19 symptoms or recent exposure to potentially infected people
  • extra cleaning multiple times per day
The particularly challenging part for some will be the mandatory face masks. Apple will supply them for customers who do not have one, but this has been particularly contentious. Face masks provide some protection in preventing you, should you be infected, from spreading Coronavirus. Success in keeping life and the economy functioning mostly normally in Taiwan, with low COVID-19 infection rates, also show that face masks are part of the solution.But they are not popular for some.
The president won’t wear one, and some believe that it’s not manly to wear a face mask. Others simply resent being told what to do — some so violently that they’ve responded with deadly violence when asked to put a mask on by a security guard.
Other steps Apple is taking?
Shipping and curb-side pick-up:
“We’ve also taken this time to consider how we can serve our customers’ needs even more effectively, whether online or in our stores,” says O’Brien. “For many stores, that will mean curb‑side pick‑up and drop off. If you choose to buy online, we can ship to your home or make your new items available for convenient pick‑up at our stores.”
One thing the company says has helped in creating a blueprint for safe reopening is its global footprint, especially in China. Apple saw the important of acting quickly there, O’Brien says, and learned how to make and keep retail stores safe.
Not all Apple Stores are open yet, of course.
Apple has over 500 stores globally, so only about 20% are open so far. That means you had better check your local Apple Store online before visiting.


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