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More UK Apple stores drop COVID appointments

Birmingham Apple Store
Birmingham Apple Store (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • More UK Apple stores no longer require customers to make an appointment before visiting.
  • 10 further stores, all in England, have ended COVID appointments.
  • 11 remaining stores still require customers to book in advance.

After reporting at the weekend that 17 UK Apple stores were ending their requirement that customers book an appointment before visiting, iMore can confirm that a further 10 stores in England are also now accepting walk-in availability.

As we noted on January 22, following scattered reports earlier in the week that Apple was planning to drop store appointments Apple updated the pages of 17 UK stores, all located in England, to state that they were opening up walk-in availability and that customers would no longer be required to book in advance. Store pages now read:

We're open and look forward to welcoming you. Shop by walking in, reserve a one-to-one session with a Specialist or buy online and pickup in store. Get support at the Genius Bar in store or by making a reservation.

A further 10 stores have now been added, again all in England. They are:

  • Apple Trinity Leeds
  • Apple Grand Arcade (Cambridge)
  • Apple Manchester Arndale
  • Apple Trafford Centre (Manchester)
  • Apple Meadowhall (Sheffield)
  • Apple Norwich
  • Apple Watford
  • Apple Eldon Square (Newcastle)
  • Apple Metrocentre (Gateshead)
  • Apple Birmingham (New St)

As we noted in our previous report, there is no clear pattern to which stores do and don't have walk-in availability. In the first round of relaxed restrictions, for instance, Apple's Bristol Cribbs Causeway was included, however, the Bristol store on Philadelphia St was not. Similarly, Apple's Birmingham Store on New St. no longer requires an appointment to visit, but the Birmingham store in the Touchwood Centre does.

As noted that leaves a further 11 stores in the country that still require you to book in advance. That includes Apple's four stores in Scotland (including both Glasgow stores), Belfast, Cardiff, and five further stores in England:

  • Bristol (Philadelphia St)
  • Milton Keynes
  • Exeter
  • Leicester
  • Birmingham (Touchwood Centre)

As per the changes at the weekend, it seems likely given the scattered geography of the changes that Apple is operating the move on a store-by-store basis as staffing pressures allow. Last week, Westminster announced an end to Plan B restrictions in England including mandatory face coverings on public transport and in stores. At this time, all Apple stores in the UK still require customers to wear a mask while visiting and are operating physical distancing and limited store occupancy.

Many stores, including the ones that no longer require appointments to visit, are still operating special opening hours (for example Manchester Arndale), so if you're planning an Apple Store visit any time soon it is certainly advisable that you check your local store's website in advance.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

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.