Apple’s head of retail Deidre O’Brien has posted a letter on the company’s website detailing how it plans to safely restart operations at its retail stores. Apple shut all of its stores outside Greater China in March as COVID-19 spread worldwide; all the Greater China stores reopened that same month, while Apple is still in the process of taking careful steps elsewhere.

O’Brien stresses at the outset of her letter that care has driven Apple’s decision-making throughout the pandemic, noting that Apple was one of the first major companies to close its retail stores. The company wants customers to understand that the Apple Store experience they’ve come to know will be a little different for the foreseeable future, in the name of safety.

Apple began reopening some of its retail stores outside of Greater China in April, starting in South Korea. Every reopened store has followed and expanded upon safety procedures first proven successful at Apple Stores in China. US stores began reopening with a single location in Idaho on May 11. As of May 17, 99 stores around the world are open to customers. Over 25 more locations in the US, 12 in Canada, and 10 in Italy will reopen in the coming week.

According to Apple:

Next week we’ll continue our very gradual and thoughtful reopening of US stores, adding more than 25 locations in seven states. While we know many customers are eager for their local store to reopen, our commitment is to reopen our stores when we are confident the environment is safe. We miss our customers and look forward to seeing them again soon.

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All open locations will offer Apple Pickup, where customers can buy online and select a time to pick up their product at the store, and Genius Bar appointments by reservation. Some locations will offer only curbside or storefront service and we encourage all customers check their local store webpage for more information about hours and services offered. Customers can also visit for support by phone or chat.

Anyone visiting our store will see some additional steps, including social distancing, which creates ample open space for customers to have one-to-one connection with our teams. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door and face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, which we’ll provide to customers who don’t bring their own. Our social distance protocol means a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19 and those working around the clock to treat, study and contain its spread.

Apple reopened a few US stores last week in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska. CNBC reports that this week’s reopenings will be in Florida, Hawaii, Oklahoma and Colorado, with some California and Washington locations offering curbside service. Details of reopenings will be updated through Apple’s Find a Store search tool.

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