Apple closes stores to most customers in New York City due to surge in Covid cases

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External View of the Apple store on Fifth Avenue on August 19, 2020 in New York City.
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Apple closed its stores to indoor customer traffic at its New York City retail locations Monday due to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the city. But those ordering online aren’t restricted from picking up products outside those stores, the company website indicated Monday.

The response follows a spike in Covid-19 cases due to the rapidly spreading omicron variant. It’s not known how long the closures will last.

The move, which affects 11 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, doesn’t amount to 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 U.S. retail locations in early 2020 in response to the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic. After reopening, the company implemented designated sanitation areas for customers and asked employees to wear masks. Its retail employees also have had access to weekly at-home tests.

But with the 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 well-being 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.”

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