Apple bans in-person shoppers from New York City stores amid spike in COVID cases

Ailan Evans, DCNF

Apple is banning in-person shoppers from its New York City locations as COVID-19 cases skyrocket in the area.

The tech giant is only allowing customers to pick up online orders from its New York City stores, including its Fifth Avenue, SoHo, Grand Central and World Trade Center locations, Bloomberg first reported. According to each store’s website, Apple will not provide its usual services including Genius Bar appointments, drop-in shopping, and the setting up of Apple devices.

“We regularly monitor conditions, and we will adjust our health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We remain committed to a comprehensive approach for our teams that combines regular testing with daily health checks, employee and customer masking, deep cleaning and paid sick leave.”

A screenshot of Apple's website for its Fifth Avenue location in New York City. Many of Apple's services, including in-person shopping, are unavailable. (Screenshot/Apple)
A screenshot of Apple’s website for its Fifth Avenue location in New York City. Many of Apple’s services, including in-person shopping, are unavailable. (Screenshot/Apple)

Apple had previously closed eight stores across the United States last week, telling Bloomberg that such occurrences were due to health concerns and that it reopens stores once each employee has been tested for the coronavirus.

The closures come amid a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks as the Omicron variant surges across the country and especially New York City, with one in every sixty Manhattanites testing positive for the virus.

Despite the increase in cases, deaths from COVID-19 in New York City have not seen a corresponding spike, according to data from The New York Times.

Apple announced a mask mandate for customers in its stores earlier in December, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases as justification for the policy.

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