In a shift toward normalcy, some Apple Stores in the US will reopen for business next week, following a nearly two-month-long hiatus brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apple Stores will resume operations in four states: Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska, according to CNBC. These US stores will join recently reopened retail locations in other countries: Germany, Australia and China. There's no timetable set for Apple Stores in the UK reopening.
How many stores are reopening in the US? The exact number is unclear, but at first it'll be no more than six – that's how many of Apple's 271 US stores are in those four states. Globally, Apple has 510 stores.
A new reality for Apple Store shoppers
When we said 'a shift toward normalcy', that comes with change. Apple Stores will put in place new social distancing rules, like limiting the number of visitors in the store at one time and suggesting customers use its in-store pick up options.
Apple Stores in the US, like we've seen in other countries, will require temperature checks for employees and customers on the way in, and employees will need to wear face covering, according to CNBC. There's no telling if 'face coverings' means a face mask or the Apple-design face shields that went out to medical workers (or both).
Initially, Apple's store will focus on fixing products. In addition to repairing devices broken during the pandemic, Apple likely has a backlog of recently fixed iPhones, iPads and MacBooks waiting to return to people at its Genius Bar. After all, plenty of people weren't able to pick up their devices in person before the March shutdown.
- Another shift: Apple WWDC 2020: what to expect