Apple Inc. plans to require employees and customers to wear masks in more than half its U.S. retail stores regardless of their vaccination status, according to a memo sent to some of its workers Wednesday.
The Cupertino, Calif., company has also told employees working in its corporate offices that they must wear masks inside those buildings even if they have been vaccinated. Bloomberg News earlier reported the new mask policies.
Apple earlier delayed by at least a month its plans for most of its workers to return to corporate offices three days a week. Both steps come as the Delta variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 has led to a rise in infections and hospitalizations in some areas in the U.S. and around the world.
The new mask policy in more than half its U.S. stores—which goes into effect July 29—comes after Apple reviewed new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local health data, the company said.
Apple had earlier loosened mask restrictions in stores, though in recent weeks it began strongly encouraging all employees to wear masks and requiring them to do so in about 45% of stores.