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Most Apple corporate employees are no longer required to wear masks

Apple store employee mask
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has this week told employees that it is dropping the company's corporate mask mandate at most of its locations. 

Apple has gone back and forth over requiring its Apple store employees to wear masks, most recently reinstating a mandate for employees at about 100 U.S. retail stores in May. 

According to a report from The Verge Monday, Apple is now dropping its mask mandate for corporate employees at "most locations", possibly including offices like Apple Park although the report doesn't specify. 

Mask off

An email from Apple's COVID-19 response team states, "we are writing to share an update to our current protocols. In light of current circumstances, wearing a face mask will no longer be required in most locations. As always, please check Welcome Forward regularly for specific requirements for your site, including those from local health authorities, or any site you may visit."

Apple says that the company recognizes "everyone’s personal circumstances are different" and that any employee may continue to wear a face mask if they feel more comfortable doing so. The email also asks everyone to "please respect every individual’s decision to wear a mask or not." 

More details from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman note that previously masks were required in "public spaces" across Apple corporate, but not while employees were at their desks. It is this requirement that has now been dropped altogether, although Gurman notes Apple previously dropped this requirement earlier this year. 

As mentioned, in May Apple reintroduced its mask mandate for retail store employees in May, however, customers are still allowed to enter stores without a mask. 

Apple also paused its plans to bring back employees into the office three days a week in May, again over concerns about rising COVID-19 infections. The company continues to operate a hybrid working model for most corporate staff. 

The news comes as Apple staff high and low prepare for the company's annual swathe of fall releases, including the expected iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8, new Macs, and more. 

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.