Apple closes stores worldwide in response to coronavirus pandemic

14 March 2020, 08:55

Apple is set to close all stores outside China in response to coronavirus
Apple is set to close all stores outside China in response to coronavirus. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Apple is set to close all stores outside Greater China until 27 March "to protect our team" in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech giant's CEO Tim Cook made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday, saying the most effective way to minimise risk of spread is to "reduce density and maximise social distance."

It comes after the firm cancelled the in-person aspects of its annual developer conference in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) was set to take place in San Jose, California, in June.

However, with governments around the world reacting to the pandemic, the company will move the conference to an "online format" instead of several days of public gatherings.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook tweeted: "In our workplaces and communities, we must do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Apple will be temporarily closing all stores outside of Greater China until March 27 and committing $15M to help with worldwide recovery."

In a statement, Apple said: "As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we're taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.

"We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers.

"In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China.

"That means team members should work remotely if their job allows, and those whose work requires them to be on-site should follow guidance to maximise interpersonal space.

"Extensive deep cleaning will continue at all sites. In all our offices, we are rolling out new health screenings and temperature checks.

"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."

Apple stores reopened in China on Saturday as the country continued to ease the lockdown on Hubei, where the virus is believed to have originated.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Taiwan and US officials

China blasts ‘dangerous situation’ over US military aid to Taiwan

Moon lander image

Japan’s moon lander survives third long freezing lunar night

Prabowo Subianto

Prabowo Subianto declared Indonesian president-elect as rivals’ appeal rejected

Flowers on church gate

Seven teenagers arrested as part of Sydney bishop stabbing investigation

US agrees £76 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

US agrees £76 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after months of delays


US Senate passes legislation forcing TikTok’s parent company to sell or face ban

Congress Ukraine

US Senate passes aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan with big bipartisan vote

Tesla Prices

Tesla’s first-quarter net income tumbles 55% as global sales fall

Election 2024 Biden Abortion

Biden blames Trump for Florida’s six-week abortion ban

Tupac Investigation Las Vegas

Ex-gang leader’s account of Tupac Shakur killing is fiction, defence says

57th Cannes film Festival

Crew members injured in crash on Georgia set of Eddie Murphy film The Pickup

Italy Abortion

Italy to allow anti-abortion groups access to women considering procedure

Five Dead Oklahoma

Oklahoma boy, 10, woke to find parents and three brothers shot dead, police say

Trump Hush Money

Publisher says he pledged to be Trump campaign’s ‘eyes and ears’ in 2016 race

Biden Earth Day

US poised to send billion-dollar package of military aid to Ukraine

Obit William Strickland

William Strickland, civil rights activist and friend of Malcolm X, dies aged 87