Apple makes masks mandatory at U.S. retail stores as COVID-19 cases rise

People leave the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue on Black Friday in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) – Apple Inc will require all customers and employees to wear masks at its U.S. retail stores, the iPhone maker said on Tuesday, as COVID-19 cases surge in the country.

Last month, Apple had scrapped its mask mandate for customers at more than 100 of the company’s about 270 stores across the United States, according to Bloomberg News, as coronavirus cases declined.

“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures in stores to support the wellbeing of customers and employees,” the company said on Tuesday.

COVID-19 infections are on the rise again, with the spread of the Omicron variant causing more worry for several major companies, prompting them to tighten their protocols.

JPMorgan Chase & Co has instructed unvaccinated staff in Manhattan to work from home, according to a staff memo seen by Reuters, while investment bank Jefferies Financial Group has enforced remote working due to a spate of COVID-19 cases.

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