Apple preps more store reopenings ahead of new iPhone launch

Apple is preparing to open more of its retail stores that were shuttered over the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech company has been closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., reopening stores where infection cases have fallen away while closing ones where spikes have been detected. It’s a pattern that looks set to continue for some time as authorities across the country continue to battle the virus.

Apple has started to inform staff at the soon-to-open stores of their upcoming work schedules, according to a Bloomberg report on Monday, August 24.

Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the report said that “most” of the stores that are set to reopen in the coming days will require customers to make an appointment ahead of their visit as part of measures to ensure social distancing is maintained on the premises.

The Apple Store experience is very different today compared to how it was before the pandemic started. For example, customers and staff are now required to wear a face covering, with a mask provided if a customer arrives without one.

Temperature checks are also performed at the door, and customers may 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 of stores are also carried out, as well as regular sanitization of all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.

Apple has 270 stores across the U.S. After closing all of them in March, the company started to reopen some of them in May. However, with COVID-19 infections rising in some areas and falling in others, Apple, like so many other retail chains, has had to open and close stores according to local conditions.

With the tech giant just weeks away from releasing new phones and an updated Apple Watch, the company will be keen to ramp up store openings where conditions permit as it seeks to ensure its new gadgets launch with the strongest possible sales.

Digital Trends has reached out to Apple for details on which stores are about to reopen and we will update this article when we hear back.

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