Η Apple Inc. intends to allow vaccinated customers not to wear masks, in many US stores from next week, a move that includes retailers leaving behind the safety protocol for Covid-19, as states reduce restrictions.
The technology giant has started informing its employees about the impending change, but no official measures have been announced yet. The change will take effect on Tuesday and employees have been informed that they will not be required to ask customers for vaccination verification.
Employees will continue to wear masks in stores, Apple told staff. The company could change its plans or simply delay easing the restriction. The face-to-face requirement will also be lifted at some of the company's offices in Cupertino, USA, according to a note sent to corporate employees.
«Given the progress made in response to Covid-19 in the US, we wanted to inform you that several points are now moving to the next phase of reintegration and will start operating under the Phase 3 protocol.", According to the note. "In Phase 3, where allowed, Apple protocols are updated to allow optional coverage for vaccinated individuals. Physical distance requirements also relax at this stage."
An Apple spokesman declined to comment further on the changes.
Apple was one of the first companies to close its stores as epidemic spread worldwide. In March 2020, he said he closed hundreds of stores and encouraged employees to work remotely.
The planned change to the company's mask policy is in line with the California timetable, to reopen the state Tuesday and lift most restrictions on vaccinated individuals. Apple has previously eased mask requirements in some other regions, including Australia.
The company told staff earlier this month that they are expected to return to office by September. The program will be pilot and will allow staff to work from home two days a week for up to two additional weeks remotely a year.
Several other retailers, such as Starbucks Corp., Walmart Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Trader Joe's have also eased mask requirements.