SANTA CLARA, CA – JUNE 15: Apple store employees and shoppers are photographed inside the Westfield Valley Fair mall on Monday, June 15, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. The shopping mall reopened Monday with modified hours. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)
With six days to go until Christmas, Cupertino-based Apple temporarily closed its retail stores throughout the Bay Area and California due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Notices that all 53 stores in California would temporarily “close soon” began appearing on the individual store sites this weekend, 9to5mac.com and other outlets reported.
For the store at the Apple Park Visitor Center, a notice reads: “We’re temporarily closing soon, but are currently open for pickup of existing online orders and previously reserved one-on-one shopping sessions with a specialist made through Tuesday, December 22.”
Similar notices also appeared on sites for stores throughout the Bay Area, some of which said stores would be open for previously scheduled in-store “Genius Support” appointments.
Apple confirmed the store closures in a statement to Bloomberg, saying, “Due to current Covid-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”
Apple’s decision to temporarily close stores on one of the busiest weeks of the holiday season comes as California on Friday set another record for new cases and endured its second-highest single-day death count. The state’s counties collectively reported 54,532 new cases, topping by nearly 3,000 the previous single-day record set just a day earlier on Thursday. The counties also recorded 279 deaths, the most of the pandemic besides Wednesday’s catastrophic count of 428.
In his report for 9to5mac.com, Apple specialist Michael Steelbar said that Apple announced it was closing all its stores in California and Tennessee this weekend, adding to just over a dozen closures of Los Angeles stores announced on December 18.
One correction here: the hours for Apple Park Visitor Center have switched again, it looks like the store is closing alongside all the rest today (compare with previous) pic.twitter.com/TLFpyK0zoh
— Michael Steeber (@MichaelSteeber) December 19, 2020
Apple stores that fall under the U.K.’s new “Tier 4” restrictions in and around London are also closing effective December 20, Steelbar reported. Prime Minister Boris Johnson put London in an emergency lockdown Saturday amid an ongoing surge. Meanwhile, Apple earlier this week closed all 18 of its stores in Germany and the Netherlands.
I update my COVID-19 Apple Store tracker every day with the latest opening and closing information. Today I added a public map that details which locations have added Express storefronts: https://t.co/sDQBMRsxtn pic.twitter.com/72Nva8SiJg
— Michael Steeber (@MichaelSteeber) December 18, 2020
More information about individual store closings are available at https://www.apple.com.