Apple will close retail stores around the world, except those in the Greater China region for two weeks until March 27, to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission. Apple reopened all 42 of its branded stores in China on Friday.
On the company’s website, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote, “The most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.”
Apple offices are also “moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China [so] team members should work remotely if their job allows.”
The move comes as the World Health Organization has identified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic as the virus is spreading rapidly in European countries, and the U.S. has declared a state of emergency on Friday.