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Apple drops mask mandate in most US stores

In New York, you don't need to wear a mask if you've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: People at an Apple store wear masks in The Oculus in lower Manhattan on the day that a mask mandate went into effect in New York on December 13, 2021 in New York City. As parts of New York are seeing a surge in Covid cases, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has enacted a new mask mandate with fines up to $1,000 per violation. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt via Getty Images
Mariella Moon
Mariella Moon|@mariella_moon|February 23, 2022 6:25 AM

Most Apple Stores in the US won't require customers to wear masks anymore. The tech giant has dropped its mask mandate and is also preparing for the return of in-person classes at its stores, according to Bloomberg. Apple has reportedly told employees about the changes in its mask requirements this week, and it has also updated its website to note each store's rules. 

There are a handful of locations that still require masks, particularly those in areas where stricter guidelines remain in place. Apple changed the rules for stores in locations that had already dropped their mask mandates, though, including Kansas, North Carolina and Ohio. Most New York locations don't require customers to wear masks anymore, so long as they've been fully vaccinated. Even so, Apple recommends wearing masks and will provide them to customers who ask for one. Store staff members will also continue wearing them. 

As for Apple's in-store classes for those who want to get tips on how to use its products from the company's employees, Bloomberg says some stores will start offering them again within the week. However, most stores are preparing to resume classes in March.

Apple first lifted its mask requirements in the US in November 2021 but reinstated it in December following a resurgence in COVID—19 cases across the country. Based on data from Johns Hopkins, the US is now reporting fewer than 100,000 cases a day, down from a record high of 1.36 million cases on a single day in January. Several states have started lifting their mask requirements, and the changes in Apple's rules merely reflect the shift in local regulations. 

Apple drops mask mandate in most US stores