CUPERTINO, California: Apple announced on Monday that all 270 of its store locations in the U.S. have officially opened for either in-store shopping or online order pickup.
The opening, which coincides with the last of Apple's Texas retail stores reopening on Monday, has no direct correlation with the rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Apple has decided to forge ahead with safety measures in place, including restrictions on in-store shopping at certain locations, the mandatory wearing of face masks and limited occupancy.
Nearly one year ago, prior to the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus in the U.S., Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the company would shut all of its retail stores outside of mainland China for one month.
On March 17th, as COVID-19 cases worldwide shot up, Apple said it would indefinitely shut all retail stores outside China.
The next few months saw stores opening and shutting, in keeping with local health guidelines and to ensure the safety of its retail employees. In some cases, stores were opened in limited capacity, only to shut again, while others stayed closed for extended periods of time.
As for the U.S., Apple has been devising its official reopening strategy since early May, which has gone on for months due to changing conditions and the company's subsequent quick response.
In December last year, Apple was forced to shut down every store in California and London, as COVID-19 cases surged through the holidays. All of its UK stores were also temporarily shuttered early last month.