In response to the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has announced that the company will be closing all of its retail stores outside of China until March 27. Apple recommends customers to use its online store for ordering its products.
Apple only recently opened all of its retail stores in China after closing them for over three weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. It had also recently shut down its stores in Italy due to the virus.
The company is also moving to “flexible work arrangements” for its offices outside of China. This will allow Apple employees to work remotely if their work permits. For those who have to work from an office, they are instructed to follow proper guidance and maintain safe interpersonal distance. Additionally, Apple is also carrying out extensive, deep cleaning across all its sites. It is also rolling out health screenings and temperature checks at its office.
First, I want to recognize Apple’s family in Greater China. Though the rate of infections has dramatically declined, we know COVID-19’s effects are still being strongly felt. I want to express my deep gratitude to our team in China for their determination and spirit. As of today, all of our stores in Greater China have reopened. I also want to thank our operations team and partners for their remarkable efforts to restore our supply chain. What we’ve learned together has helped us all develop the best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response.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.
The company will also continue to pay all its hourly workers worldwide and it has also expanded its leave policies to allow for personal and family health circumstances.