In response to COVID-19, Apple has announced the closure of all retail stores outside of China until March 27. In a press release yesterday, Apple recognized the determination and spirit of all its employees from the greater China area – and that what they learned together helped them develop the best practices they are now implementing in their global response.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said, “One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.”
In February, Apple had closed all stores in China because of the coronavirus outbreak. Now they are all open, but every other store in the world is temporarily closed. Online stores remain open at www.apple.com – you can also download the Apple Store app on the App Store if needed.
Like many other companies, Apple is also encouraging employees to work from home (WFH) if their role allows. Hourly employees will still receive pay in alignment with “business as usual” operations during the shutdown.
It also appears as though Apple is planning for a longer game as well – WWDC20 will be going online. Does that mean there will be no mass gathering of Apple Developers and aficionados in Cupertino this year? That we don’t know, but I am sure we will hear more in the coming weeks.