Apple is all set to shut down all its Apple stores temporarily around the globe (except in China) until 27thMarch. This decision is in the wake of the rapidly spreading and now a global pandemic Coronavirus. Tim Cook announced in a letter posted on the company’s website late Friday night. “The most effective way to minimize the risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance,” Cook wrote. “We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers.”
Apple’s online stores will remain open and so will the Apple store app. Customers seeking customer support can visit support.apple.com to find authorized repair shops that remain open or arrange mail-in service.“The global spread of COVID-19 is affecting every one of us,” Cook wrote. “At Apple, we are people first, and we do what we do with the belief that technology can change lives and the hope that it can be a valuable tool in a moment like this.”
Apple is proactively taking steps to keep their employees safe by encouraging a work from the home regime. Employees affected will be paid regardless of the shutdown and here’s what Tim Cook has to say “All of our hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with the 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”.
Apple is also actively donating to fight COVID-19 and has reached $15million according to Cook and the company will also be matching employees donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response efforts locally, nationally and internationally.
Apple recently reopened its 42 stores in China which it closed in early February soon after the initial spread of the virus. “Though the rate of infections has dramatically declined, we know COVID-19’s effects are still being strongly felt. I want to express my deep gratitude to our team in China for their determination and spirit,” Cook said in his note.Apple also cancelled its march event and also announced that WWDC 202 will be an online event to avoid the gathering of a crowd.