Apple Stores to Drop Mask Requirement for Vaccinated Customers This Week

Apple will no longer require vaccinated customers to wear masks inside their retail stores in the U.S, a major shift in policy compared to last month, according to Bloomberg.

apple store palo alto
The new change, expected to go into effect on Tuesday, will no longer require customers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks inside Apple Stores in the United States. Bloomberg notes that Apple has been informing retail leaders and staff of the change, noting that employees will continue to be required to wear masks.

The technology giant has begun informing retail employees of the impending change in impacted markets, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who declined to be identified discussing policy changes that haven’t been announced. The change will go into effect as early as Tuesday, and employees have been told that they won’t be required to ask customers for verification of vaccination.

Workers will still need to wear masks at stores, Apple told staff. The company could change its plans or delay the loosening of the restriction. The requirement for face coverings will also be dropped at some of the Cupertino, California-based company’s U.S. offices, according to a memo sent to corporate employees.

Apple last month told retail employees that mask requirements would stay in place following updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which states that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors or in the majority of indoor settings.

In an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg, Apple says that thanks to the progress that has been made in the U.S., it can now safely begin "moving to the next phase of resumption and will begin to operate under Phase 3 onsite protocol." Phase 3 protocol, according to the memo, includes Apple protocol being updated to "permit optional masking for vaccinated individuals." Physical distancing requirements are also being "relaxed."

As part of the return to normalcy, Apple also plans to begin a slow transition to moving back to in-person work at Apple Park this fall.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

burgman Avatar
22 months ago

Have fun with that. Did you wear masks every flu season?
Many countries do for decades, and it works well. Their populations have stronger social sense of responsibility. The opposite of the “it’s all about me“ narcissistic personality disorder worshiped in many other areas.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dojoman Avatar
22 months ago
This will work very well for liars that pretending to be vaccinated.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
22 months ago
Until under 12 year old population is eligible for vaccination AND Apple Store employees stop wearing masks, I will be wearing.
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Awesome Avatar
22 months ago

Science is real.
I wasn't aware that anyone was saying it was fake. However, there is inherent danger in treating anything with the word "science" slapped on it like cold hard fact. Science is a process, not a rulebook. We use science to test our ideas about the world. With testing, hypotheses and theories can change, be refined, or be rejected completely.

A pet peeve of mine is when people say "follow the science" or "science says." Science doesn't say. Scientists say. Scientists are humans, and are fallible. What people mean when they usually say "science" is not actually science: it's the potentially errant conclusions made based on scientific research and testing. Conclusions that can change with time. Science is a process, not an answer.

Science isn't real in the sense that it's a solution to everything. Science provides solutions, and often they're inaccurate and improved on over time. Don't assume something is true and will be for all time because it's "science." Weigh it against previous knowledge and information and know that the conclusions made with the scientific method may very well change as new data is gathered and tested.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alfonsog Avatar
22 months ago
The mask does not protect you. It protects others from you. If everyone wore masks correctly for a few months this would have ended a long time ago. Science is real.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
22 months ago
This was a moment I was afraid of. On the outside, I can understand the loosening of the restrictions, but inside the facilities? Ok, Apple Stores have a good ventilation system, I want to think, with HEPA filters and such. However... I am afraid Apple, and other companies, force their employees to not wear a face mask in an indoors workplace. For me, the mask has come to stay, I don’t want to get COVID even when fully vaccinated, because even with the vaccine, infection can happen. I won’t end up on Intensive Care, probably, but COVID is still a bad disease, that can become persistent, tiredness forever....

I will wear mask as long as I am able to, specially indoors. If I am forced to ditch the mask on my workplace... I will have to talk with the syndicates or something. I have the right to preserve my health.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Pay Later Quick Green Feature

Apple Pay Later Launching 'Soon'

Thursday February 2, 2023 2:10 pm PST by
The Apple Pay Later service that Apple has in the works is set to launch "soon," Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC ahead of today's earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2023. Cook said that Apple employees are beta testing the Apple Pay Later feature, which will help Apple boost services revenue. "It will be launching soon," Cook said. Apple Pay Later was first previewed at the...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...