Apple Store Social DistancingSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • The masking requirement is returning to the bulk of Apple Stores in the United States.
  • Masks will be required for both employees and customers - regardless of vaccination status.

Mask requirements are about to go into effect for a lot more Apple Stores in the United States.

As reported by Bloomberg, Apple has sent a memo to its retail staff announcing the change on Wednesday. According to the memo, masks will once again be a requirement in the majority of Apple's retail locations in the country starting on Thursday. The requirement will apply to both retail employees and customers - even those who have been vaccinated.

Apple says that it is making the change "out of an abundance of caution" in response to the rise of COVID-19 cases across the country.

"After carefully reviewing the latest CDC recommendations, and analyzing the health and safety data for your local area, we are updating our guidance on face masks for your store," Apple told staff. "Starting July 29, face masks will be required in store for customers and team members -- even if they're vaccinated." The company added it is making the change "out of an abundance of caution."

The company is also urging its retail employees to get vaccinated, but did clarify that it is not a requirement "at this time."

It also urged retail staff to get vaccinated, but is not requiring it at this time. "Apple encourages everyone who is eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, to take it," the company wrote to retail employees. "Please talk to your doctor and decide what's right for you."

The Delta variant of the coronavirus is obviously making an impact on the company's plans to get back to a sense of normalcy from the pandemic. Apple has already reinstated a mask requirement for employees at some retail locations last month and also pushed back its return to the office from September to October.

Earlier today, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that vaccination requirements could be a possibility for employees wishing to return to the office, but said that the company is still discussing the matter. The comment was revealed after Google announced a vaccine requirement for employees wishing to return to its offices in October.