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Your next Apple Store visit will be unlike any you have made before

Apple’s head of retail has explained to customers how it plans to open its brick-and-mortar stores following their closure in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter posted on its website on Sunday, May 17, Deirdre O’Brien, the tech company’s senior vice president of retail and people, detailed new procedures for its more than 500 sites globally that will be in place for the foreseeable future.

The new setup means that everyone inside an Apple Store — whether customers or staff — will be required to wear a face covering. If a customer arrives without a covering, staff will provide one, O’Brien said.

Temperature checks will be carried out at the door, and customers will be asked several health questions to check if they have any symptoms associated with the virus, or if they’ve knowingly been in contact with anyone infected with the condition.

Enhanced deep cleans in the stores will also be performed throughout the day on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.

The executive explained that each newly reopened store would also be looking to limit the number of people allowed inside in order to enable social distancing, suggesting that some customers may have to wait outside if a store starts to fill up.

Other measures include a greater emphasis on curbside pick‑up and drop-off for ordered items. “If you choose to buy online, we can ship to your home or make your new items available for convenient pick‑up at our stores,” O’Brien said, at the same time reminding customers that some issues can still be resolved without a store visit via its online and phone-based support services.

Apple has so far reopened about 100 of its retails stores globally, including U.S. stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska.

“Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we’re confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores,” O’Brien wrote in the letter. “We look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. These are not decisions we rush into, and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.”

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