Apple Stores Reopening In Parts Of Canada, But You’ll Need A Mask

TORONTO — Apple says it’s reopening some stores in Canada as provinces slowly lift emergency lockdown measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In Canada, 12 Apple stores will be operating this week in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. There are no plans for store openings in Ontario and Quebec — the provinces with the most COVID-19 cases in Canada.

The tech giant published an opening letter to customers Sunday explaining why it is reopening its doors now and what changes people can expect. In the U.S., 25 retail locations are set to reopen this week.

Apple says nearly 100 stores around the world have reopened so far and the company believes it has the right approach for keeping stores safely open, as they have been for months in China. 

“Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we’re confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores,” Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice-president of retail and people, wrote in an online post.

“For one thing, you’ll find yourself with plenty of space,” she continued. “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.”

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Along with social distancing, customers will be asked to wear a face covering, which is also required by staff. Apple says it will provide a mask for those who don’t have one. Patrons must also take temperature checks at the door and answer health-related questions to prevent COVID-19 exposure.

There will also be “enhanced deep cleanings” happening periodically throughout the day to sanitize surfaces, products and busy areas, according to Apple. The number of people inside each store will limited and monitored.

“A store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant,” O’Brien wrote. “The response to COVID‑19 is still ongoing, and we recognize that the road back will have its twists and turns.” 

Despite the efforts made by companies, there’s still a risk the virus could spread in stores. For those who would prefer to minimize contact with others, curbside pickup and drop-off options are available, along with direct shipping and telephone services.

Bloomberg reported the U.S. stores reopening are in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma and Washington.

To see which locations in Canada will be opening this week, select a retail store on Apple’s website. 

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