External View of the Apple store on Fifth Avenue on August 19, 2020 in New York City.
VIEW press | Corbis News | Getty Images
Apple closed its stores to customers at its New York City retail locations Monday due to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the city. Customers will still be able to pick up online orders outside of stores, the company’s website indicated Monday.
The response follows a spike in Covid-19 cases due to the rapidly spreading omicron variant. It’s unclear how long the change will last.
The move, which affects its 11 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, isn’t a complete shuttering of stores like the company has done in the past to slow the spread of the virus.
Apple closed all of its retail locations in early 2020, in response to the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic. After reopening, the company implemented designed sanitation areas for customers and asked employees to wear masks. Its retail employees have also had access to weekly at-home tests.
But with a new, more contagious variant of the virus, Apple is tightening its policies. The company said two weeks ago customers would be required to wear masks when visiting retail locations. Previously, Apple only required masks in regions that imposed mandates.
Earlier this month, Apple temporarily closed stores in Miami, Ottawa, Ontario, and Annapolis, Md. due to rising cases.
“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures to support the wellbeing of customers and employees,” the company said in a statement Monday. “We remain committed to a comprehensive approach for our teams that combines regular testing with daily health checks, employee and customer masking, deep cleaning and paid sick leave.”