Apple retailers are implementing stricter COVID measures, which in turn require customers to wear masks throughout the United States and adopt social distance rules in some locations that had been eliminated earlier this year.

Apple dropped its masking claims to customers in many U.S. states in November due to positive trends in vaccinations and declining COVID-19 cases, but cases are ticking up again and there are concerns about the Omicron variant.

In some states, mask mandates were not eliminated, but in states where customers were no longer required to wear a mask in an Apple Store, that is changing. About 100 stores were able to drop their masking claims back in November.

Apple was also able to stop limiting occupancy in its stores, but in areas with a large number of cases, there will again be waiting times to come in when it is crowded.

Apple has continuously monitored local guidance and COVID data throughout the pandemic and made adjustments as needed to reduce the risk to customers and employees.

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