All Apple stores outside of China will close for two weeks to fight coronavirus pandemic
- Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, made the announcement on Twitter early Saturday morning, saying that the measures will help prevent the spread of coronavirus
- The stores will close immediately, and will not reopen until March 27
- The only stores exempt from the temporary closures are those in Greater China, where doors have only just reopened
- Retail workers on hourly wages will continue to be paid, and the company has expanded its leave policies and implemented health checks
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Apple will close all of its stores across the world for the next two weeks, but it will keep its doors open in China where it has just reopened.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, made the announcement on Twitter early Saturday morning, saying that the measures will help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The stores will close immediately, and will not reopen until March 27.
In the United States, more than 2,200 people have tested positive for coronavirus and 50 had died as of midnight on Friday. Globally, more than 140,000 people have tested positive and more than 5,000 people have died.
In a tweet, Cook said: ‘In our workplaces and communities, we must do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Apple will be temporarily closing all stores outside of Greater China until March 27 and committing $15M to help with worldwide recovery.’
While the temporary closures are in place, Apple will continue to pay its hourly retail workers their wages.
It has also extended its leave policies, which will include recovering from illness, caring for families, mandatory quarantining or for those who have to look after their children during school closures.
Apple will close all of its stores across the world for the next two weeks, but it will keep its doors open in China where it has just reopened
In a statement, Cook said that one of the most effective ways to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus was 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,’ he said in the statement.
The company will also allow employees outside of China who work in offices to work remotely if their job allows.
‘Extensive, deep cleaning will continue at all sites. In all our offices, we are rolling out new health screenings and temperature checks,’ Cook said.
Alongside the temporary measures, Cook said the company will match employee donations two-to-one to to help with ‘worldwide recovery’, and effort which has now reached $15 million.
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