Apple reinstates mask requirement for US stores amid omicron concerns

The mask requirement applies to both Apple employees and customers, according to the company

Apple is reinstating mask requirements at all U.S. stores due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

The mask requirement applies to both Apple employees and customers, according to the company. The policy change surfaced amid rising concerns about the omicron COVID-19 variant, which is thought to be highly contagious and capable of evading some protection provided by existing vaccines.

 The Apple logo is seen at an Apple Store, as Apple's new 5G iPhone 12 went on sale in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 23, 2020. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo) (Reuters Photos)

"We regularly monitor conditions, and we will adjust our health measures in stores to support the wellbeing of customers and employees," Apple said in a statement. "Amid rising cases in many communities, we now require that all customers join our team members in wearing masks while visiting our stores."

Apple CEO Tim Cook poses with a new MacBook Pro for Apple's Unleashed 2021 event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, U.S., in a photograph released October 18, 2021. (Apple Inc/Handout via REUTERS) (Reuters Photos)

Apple has repeatedly altered its in-store mask policies in response to COVID-19 cases levels. In November, the iPhone maker eased mask requirements in roughly half of its U.S. stores as case numbers declined.

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. (REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo / Reuters Photos)


States are also reconsidering their mask policies in response to the omicron variant. California and New York have reinstated indoor mask mandates in recent days.