Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) is reinforcing face-mask wearing requirements at most of its U.S. retail stores beginning Thursday for both shoppers and employees, Bloomberg reported, citing a company memo circulated to employees on Wednesday.
What Happened: The mask-wearing requirement is being brought back in response to the rising COVID-19 cases, new local mandates and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines — and will be applicable to even those who are vaccinated.
Apple told staff that the update was “out of an abundance of caution.”
The Cupertino, California-based Apple’s about-turn comes more than a month after dropping the mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers at many U.S. stores.
The tech giant is also encouraging retail staff to get vaccinated, the report noted.
See Also: Apple Will Need To Give In To Employee Demands For More Permissive Remote Work Options Or ‘Risk Losing Talent:’ Gurman
Why It Matters: After months of decline, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is on the rise. As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 49.3% of the U.S. population is currently fully vaccinated.
The rising cases have prompted the CDC to update the mask guidance with the recommendation that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with “substantial” and “high” transmission of Covid-19, which includes nearly two-thirds of all U.S. counties.
Price Action: Apple shares closed 1.2% lower at $144.98 on Wednesday.
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