Apple is dropping its mask requirements for corporate employees at “most locations,” according to an internal memo obtained by The Verge.
Apple’s COVID-19 Response Team on Monday told corporate employees that the company is updating current protocols “in light of current circumstances,” and urged staff to continue wearing a face mask if they feel more comfortable doing so.
Apple also noted in the email that “everyone’s personal circumstances are different” and reminded corporate employees to respect every individual’s decision to wear a mask or not.
Apple has been shifting its operating policies throughout the pandemic to keep in line with local regulations and to mitigate risk for employees and customers in areas where COVID is spiking.
For example, Apple in March relaxed its mask requirements for its retail employees in the United States due to a decline in Covid-19 cases and a relaxation of local mandates.
The latest move however comes amid a fresh wave of infections in California that were first identified in the Bay Area, due to the highly-contagious Omicron BA.5 subvariant.
Masks were previously still required in “public spaces,” but not at desks. Now requirement dropped altogether. Doesn’t seem like the most ideal time to do so however. See that big case decline between Feb. and March? That was the last time Apple dropped the requirement. https://t.co/vyKX3okvhu pic.twitter.com/MfcaumfNq2
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) August 2, 2022
Apple is still operating a hybrid home/office work policy for corporate employees in the United States. Staff began returning to their offices on April 11 for one day a week, ending a two-year work from home policy that Apple implemented during the pandemic.
Apple originally planned to have staff in the office for three days of the week by May 23, but the company reversed the decision after a surge in infections, and a two-day requirement was imposed on May 4.
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