What you need to know
- Apple Stores in the San Francisco Bay Area will stay closed longer than most.
- Six counties in the are declared "shelter in place" mandates until April 7th.
- Only essential businesses will be allowed to remain open during that time.
Last week, Apple announced that it would be closing all of its retail locations outside of China until March 27th in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, some stores may have to keep their doors closed for a little longer.
Reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area have issued "shelter in place" mandates, demanding that only essential businesses and services remain open and that all residents in the area stay home except for necessary travel. It is the strictest policy put in place so far in the United States to protect against the spread of coronavirus.
The mandate in all six counties begins at midnight, March 16th and will stay in place until at least April 7th. This new policy will extent Apple's original plan of keeping its retail stores closed until March 27th as many of its stores in the area are located within the counties under the new mandate.
Apple's own headquarters is also in one of the counties now under the mandate, as Apple Park rests within Santa Clara County. Last week, the company asked for employees of the campus to work from home if possible, and this new policy puts even more pressure on that effort.
The new policy set forth by the six counties demands that people work from home unless they provide essential services like public safety, sanitation, and medical services. Businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and banks will remain open during the mandate, but others like restaurants will be limited to delivery and take out.
The mandate is currently set to expire on April 7th, but it could be extended once the situation is reevaluated.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.