On Thursday, Australia became the first country outside of China to reopen large numbers of Apple Stores as 21 of its 22 retail outlets opened their doors again for the first time in more than six weeks.
The Australian Apple Stores, like all others outside China, have been closed since March 14. They were temporarily shuttered due to the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to China and Australia, Apple has reopened stores in South Korea and Austria. However, in both cases it only has one location in each country. The Australia reopening is therefore the most significant reopening outside China. All stores in the country are reopened, excluding the flagship Apple Sydney which is closed for renovations.
And the doors are open! Signs of retail life at Rundle Mall as customers again peruse the shelves at Apple. @9NewsAdel pic.twitter.com/gUUsEjwnKm
— Lucy Hinton (@LucyHinton_9) May 7, 2020
Australia is reopening
Australia has had a relatively small number of coronavirus cases. According to official stats, there have been 6,894 confirmed cases and 97 deaths. The country is now starting to reopen as states ease restrictions. Alongside Apple, outdoor chain Kathmandu this week announced it was reopening stores. Retail giant Accent Group is reopening more than 500 stores by the middle of May.
The reopened Apple Stores aren’t quite back to normal, though. Customers must wear masks and carry out social distancing. There are also temperature checks in place at the Apple Stores. Customers are advised to order online where possible.
When will Apple Stores reopen in Australia?
Apple has not yet said exactly when Apple Stores will reopen in North America. Speaking with Bloomberg Tim Cook said that “just a few, not a large number” of stores in the United States will re-open in the first half of May. He advised that Apple will, “look at the data and make a decision city by city, county by county, depending on the circumstances in that particular place.”
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