Apple retail store reopenings come loaded with precautions, limitations

In another sign that the weeks-long stay-at-home orders we’ve all been under to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus are starting to come to an end, Apple is beginning to open its retail stores in the U.S. and around the globe, but these reopenings come loaded with precautions and limitations, so don’t expect the same experience as before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Apple retail store reopenings. Image: Apple King Street in Charleston, South Carolina
Apple King Street in Charleston, South Carolina

Ian Sherr for CNET:

The tech giant closed its stores in March as the seriousness of the virus and the speed of its spread pushed many governments to order people to shelter in place, forcing businesses to close as well.

Apple has begun opening some stores outside the US, such as in China and Australia, though with social distancing rules in place. The company said in a statement that it plans to open stores in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho and South Carolina. “Our team is constantly monitoring local heath data and government guidance, and as soon as we can safely open our stores, we will,” Apple said in its statement.

Apple said it’s instituting new safety rules for its stores as they reopen. The company said it’ll limit the number of people who can be in a store at the same time. Apple stores tend to attract crowds, and they serve as destinations in many malls. “We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pick up,” the company added.

MacDailyNews Take: While it’ll be somewhat of a trial to get in and out of an Apple Store*, on the bright side, communication will likely be easier without the the normal cacophony that Apple Stores have delivered in spades in recent years.

*Apple is asking that customers to maintain social distancing of 6-feet, wear face masks while in the store, and consent to temperature checks in order to enter. Due to social distancing rules, far fewer customers will be able to be in an Apple Store at any given time, so expect there to be a wait to get inside.


  1. Guess I won’t be visiting an Apple Store anytime soon.. I think this has been way over-wrought and while perhaps some pre-cautions are ok, I don’t think they need to scan everyone wanting to come in to make a purchase, they are not there long enough to make a difference in most cases. And while I am sure some think you need a mask, unless you are already ill and you should not be out anyway, it does not accomplish much of anything to wear one..

  2. If you have not learned by now that perhaps half the individuals who are infected with the coronavirus and are shedding it show no symptoms, you know it now. By the time somebody knows they are “already ill,” they could have spread it to many others. Until we have wide-spread testing, everyone needs to behave as if we are all contagious.

    Add your opinion to a presidential election, and you bet 80,000 dead Americans… so far.

    1. We are ninth in per capita testing, about half the rate in Spain. That is up quite considering in the past few weeks, but still only a fraction of what is needed.

        1. The availability of testing (and masks) as part of a “putting America back to work” strategy is entirely relevant to the safe reopening of the Apple Stores. Protecting the health of Apple employees and customers is not “politics.” It is entirely relevant—indeed, a matter of life and death—for the Apple fans and investors who visit this site.

          Protecting public health and safety is something that Apple has always taken seriously. If you think that is “useless,” an Apple fan site is perhaps the wrong place for your interests.

          1. But yet Apple was not mentioned in your previous two posts.
            And Apple stores were not mentioned in your first two posts.

            What I did see was opinion on politics. And when I called you out on the politics, then it became about Apple.

            Admin, can I get a ruling, and move this to politics?
            Oh, and BTW, Obama spied, Comey lied, Hillary cried. #MAGA2020

            And, #ObamaGate ‬

            1. I understand. Macinfo and First 2014 are allowed to make material misstatements of facts relevant to the Apple Store policy. I am not supposed to correct them. When they attack masks and screening, that isn’t political. When I support them—like the Trump Administration health experts—that is political. So, free speech only applies to speech you agree with. All other speech should be barred from the discussion-become-monologue. I get the message. I don’t agree.

    2. Testing does no good. You can be clean one minute and infected the next. How many times a day does a person need to be tested and what does it mean anyhow? Waste of time and effort.

  3. all those precautions are welcome and warranted. every country around the world is implementing in kind policy. so anyone not wanting to wear a mask, can order online for home delivery.

  4. What Apple is doing is building an environment where customers will feel safe from a health perspective. That is smart business as well as the right thing to do.

    Customers will seek out environments that make them feel safe. It’s just like with standard security: you prefer going to a shopping mall where they have good security, even though you have to obey a few rules, like not speeding in the parking lot.

    Or restaurants: you prefer eating at a restaurant that is clean and neat.

    The businesses that protect the health of their customers and employees will be the ones that people want to patronize, even if there’s a bit of an inconvenience.

  5. Video of customers having their foreheads scanned like barcodes will mash up nicely with their 1984 Big Brother ad. Instead of “Think Different” maybe “Think Safety – slave”?

    1. I don’t care if you want to die. I don’t. Apple is trying to keep me and my family safe. You aren’t. Good for them. If you don’t want to wear a mask or be screened, just stay away from the Apple Store. They don’t want sources of infection mingling with their customers. I don’t want you anywhere near me with that attitude.

  6. So, lineups at the Apple Store even when there isn’t a new product ? Can’t be worse than trying to get into Costco these days, at least in my neighborhood.

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