Apple forced to re-close 11 stores just weeks after re-opening as US COVID-19 cases skyrocket

Apple has announced that it will re-close more than 10 stores across the US as cases of coronavirus continue to skyrocket in many states.

Just weeks after reopening large chunks of its store estate where it felt “confident the environment is safe”, the iPhone maker says it will now re-close 11 stores across four US states.

In Arizona, which reported a record 3246 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, Apple said it would temporarily close six of its recently opened stores.

Similarly in Florida, which saw new cases rise a record 35 per cent to 3207 and 3822 Thursday and Friday, Apple said it would re-close two stores.

READ MORE: Apple begins reopening stores across the world

Another three stores will be close in North and South Carolina, which have also seen dramatic increases in new coronavirus cases since Apple started reopening stores in May.

“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 said.

“These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.”

Last month Apple began reopening stores gradually, with a plan to open 100 stores, largely with curbside pickup services, over the next few weeks.

Apple was one of the first stores to close its doors in the wake of the pandemic, announcing on March 18 that it would close all of its 484 stores outside of China “until further notice”.

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