Apple to start reopening some US stores

Shoppers walk past a closed Apple store at the CoolSprings Galleria in Franklin, Tennessee.
Shoppers walk past a closed Apple store at the CoolSprings Galleria in Franklin, Tennessee.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Apple will start reopening US retail stores next week, beginning in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska.

The company said on Friday (May 8) it will require "additional safety procedures, including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy."

Apple said its primary focus in the stores will be providing technical support to customers forced to work and attend school from home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Our team is constantly monitoring local heath data and government guidance, and as soon as we can safely open our stores, we will," Apple said in a statement.

"As local guidance varies around the US there may be slight modifications to our procedures."

The iPhone maker said earlier on Friday that it will reopen its 15 retail stores across Germany on May 11 with limited hours and health precautions.

The moves expand on Apple's other recently opened locations in South Korea, Austria and Australia.

Apple's stores in all other regions outside of China, including Japan, Britain and Canada, remain closed.

Apple has more than 500 retail stores worldwide.

Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook previously told Bloomberg News he expected at least a few US locations to reopen by mid-May, while retail chief Deirdre O'Brien had said she expects "many more" locations to reopen during the month.