Apple reportedly says masks are still mandatory at US stores, despite more relaxed CDC guidelines for fully-vaccinated people

Apple reportedly says masks are still mandatory at US stores, despite more relaxed CDC guidelines for fully-vaccinated people
·2 min read
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Apple says masks are still mandatory in US stores. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Masks are still mandatory in Apple's US stores, according to a Bloomberg report.

The company has reportedly informed employees that customers and workers at its stores across the US will still be required to wear masks, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxing mask guidance for fully vaccinated people.

A spokesperson for Apple did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

US retailers have been divided in their approach to the CDC's new guidelines around wearing masks. Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe's are among retailers who have scrapped mandatory mask-wearing rules in stores in light of the guidance - while Target, Macy's, and now reportedly Apple are sticking with their existing rules for now.

Ultimately, states can decide their own mask rules. Critics say that because of this, the new guidance creates more confusion for retailers and their workers, who may have to assess who and who has not been vaccinated.

"The business owner is expected to be referee, pseudo police, and mask enforcer- just as they're trying to rebuild rapport with customers," Larry Barton, a professor of crisis management and public safety at the University of Central Florida, told Insider.

It puts businesses in a "horrible situation," he said. "Expect a summer of verbal altercations, snarky people challenging one another."

Still, industry experts say that giving retailers the chance to go mask-free could help boost sales this summer.

"I think this will trigger a substantial increase in traffic in brick and mortar stores as the vaccinated public will feel increasingly protected by the Covid vaccines," Mark Cohen, director of Retail Studies at Columbia Business School, told Insider.

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