Earlier this month Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced that all Apple Stores outside of China would close until March 28 due to COVID-19. What you might have missed is they’re actually closed ‘indefinitely’.
“The most effective way to minimise risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximise social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers,” said Cook on March 14.
The CEO also spoke about employee payment and leave at the time.
“All of our hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations. We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 ” including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures,” said Cook.
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Within three days the company had changed the re-open date from March 28 (March 27 in the U.S.) to ‘until further notice.’
The Australian Apple website currently says “Our retail stores are closed, but you can buy our products here online and get free delivery.”
A Google search also shows nearby stores as being closed.
This pivot isn’t exactly surprising. The United States, where Apple is based, has become the country with the largest confirmed cases in the world. Here in Australia, the latest messsaging from the government is to expect disruptions to business and life in general for at least six months.
Retail stores in Australia can stay open so long as there is enough room for one person per four square metres.
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