Apple will start requiring employees and customers to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status in more than half of its stores in the United States, it said on Wednesday, a new sign that shopping in the country may soon resemble the earlier days of the pandemic.
Apple said that it was choosing stores based on the rate of coronavirus cases in the area, and that its policy followed new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After lifting mask requirements in American stores earlier this year, Apple in recent weeks had begun requiring store employees in some regions to wear masks again as coronavirus cases rose, fueled by the Delta variant. Now it has extended that requirement to customers in some places.
Apple has continued to require masks in its stores in most places outside the United States, and that policy hasn’t changed.
Apple also told its employees on Tuesday that they would soon have to wear masks when inside the company’s main offices in the United States, regardless of whether they were vaccinated. Last week, Apple delayed its timeline on requiring workers to return to the office.
Bloomberg earlier reported Apple’s decision to require masks in its stores.