How Apple will keep people safe when they visit an Apple store
Apple is steadily opening up its Apple retail stores for business – but we must be prepared for stores to shut down again as infection rates grow, as they inevitably will.
This is how visiting an Apple retail store will work in future.
You won’t always need to enter the store
Many Apple stores will now offer kerb‑side pick‑up and drop off. 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. Apple’s online support staff may sometimes be the only people you need to speak to.
There will be a queue
If you do need to enter the store, expect a queue. Unless you have an appointment or the store you visit happens to be empty you must expect to queue for entry. The queue is likely to be social distanced, and you will be required to maintain space between others in the queue. You won’t be given entrance until there’s enough space.
There will be a temperature test
Apple will conduct temperature checks at the door. This means masked Apple employees will use handheld scanners to check your temperature. You’ll be expected to treat them with respect. If you don’t, you won’t come in. You may think yourself immune to the disease, but you aren’t, they aren’t, and you’re wrong.
You will be checked for symptoms
On admission you will be required to answer health questions to check if you have the symptoms of the disease. I imagine that when you answer these questions you’ll be told that in the event you are not telling the complete truth then you’ll be held responsible if anyone gets sick on your account. This seems proportionate and reasonable to me.
You will be given a mask and expected to wear it
Polite staff at the door will give you a mask if you aren’t wearing one. If you don’t want to wear one, you won’t be permitted in.
You’ll find the stores emptier than they used to be
Once you make it inside the store you’ll find it much emptier than before. “In every store, we’re focused on limiting occupancy and giving everybody lots of room, and renewing our focus on one‑on‑one, personalized service at the Genius Bar and throughout the store,” Apple says.
You may find the stores even cleaner
Apple will have cleaners on site all day. The company will be conducting enhanced deep cleanings that place special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas, it said.
Stores may close with little warning
Apple has no intention of its stores becoming new disease clusters. The company is only opening them when it is confident it is a safe thing to do, it says. When it does open a store the company will close it again “should local conditions warrant”. In other words, when the second spike of infections inevitably emerges, don’t be surprised if the stores close again.
You’ll find more and more things online
Apple has already confirmed it will open WWDC as an online event. The company has also begun offering ‘Today at Apple at Home’ sessions with Apple experts where you can learn things you might have picked up in-store. You can expect more of this in future as Apple prepares for what will inevitably be a more socially distant era.
What Apple says
“The response to COVID‑19 is still ongoing, and we recognize that the road back will have its twists and turns. But whatever challenges lie ahead, COVID‑19 has only reinforced our faith in people — in our teams, in our customers, in our communities. Down the road, when we reflect on COVID‑19, we should always remember how so many people around the world put the well‑being of others at the center of their daily lives. At Apple, we plan to carry those values forward, and we will always put the health and safety of our customers and teams above all else.
“Thank you for all you’re doing to support the COVID‑19 response — whether that’s volunteering, donating, sharing gratitude for our medical workers, or maintaining social distance to protect the health of our communities.”