Apple Shuts Down Eight More Retail Stores Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

Apple Saint Catherine Montreal retail store Credit: Apple Sainte-Catherine, Montreal
Text Size
- +

Toggle Dark Mode

If you were planning on visiting an Apple Store for some last-minute Christmas shopping, you may need to make alternative arrangements in some areas, as rising numbers of COVID-19 cases are shuttering more of Apple’s retail stores in major urban areas.

In what’s starting to sound like a repeat of last year’s holiday season, Apple has been forced to shut down seven more stores in the U.S. and Canada. This brings the total number of retail locations closed in recent weeks due to COVID-19 spikes up to nearly a dozen.

According to Bloomberg, since Tuesday, December 21, Apple has temporarily closed the following seven locations.

Most of these locations are expected to reopen on Tuesday at 10 a.m., although Highland Village in Houston will be up and running again by Sunday at noon, and the Sainte-Catherine store in Montreal will reopen Monday morning at 8 a.m., and the Summit Mall location in Akron will be back in operation on Monday at 10 a.m. Lenox Square, on the other hand, won’t be reopening until Wednesday.

According to Bloomberg, Apple normally shuts down a retail store once 10 percent of staff members test positive for COVID-19. At that point, Apple performs a deep cleaning on the store and has all staff members re-tested before it reopens again.

Apple shut down three other stores earlier this month for the same reason, including Apple Rideau in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, Apple Annapolis in Maryland, and Apple Brickell City Centre in Miami, Florida. All of these have now reopened, however, following standard precautionary measures and full testing of all staff.

We regularly monitor conditions, and we will adjust our health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees. We remain committed to a comprehensive approach for our teams that combines regular testing with daily health checks, employee and customer masking, deep cleaning and paid sick leave.


Still, the increasing number of stores facing temporary closures suggests that we may be on a path to longer-term shutdowns in at least some areas. Certainly, the fact that Apple has now been forced to close multiple locations in some cities doesn’t bode well.

To be clear, the only store closures so far have been a direct result of surging cases among employees. Apple has yet to make any proactive closures in harder-hit areas this year like it was forced to do last December, but that could still be coming.

Last week, Apple returned to its requirement that all customers wear face masks inside its U.S. stores, while also indefinitely pushing off the return of its corporate employees, who were previously slated to come back to Apple Park on February 1, 2022.

Although Apple’s mask policy now affects all of its stores throughout the U.S., the policy has already been in effect in some areas since the stores first reopened earlier this year. Apple naturally has to comply with local health regulations where its stores operate, so masks have been required all along in those areas where it’s already been required by health authorities.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a last-minute Christmas gift, you may want to steer clear of visiting your local Apple Store in person. If you’re in a metro area, Apple is offering free two-hour delivery of any in-stock products right up to noon on Christmas Eve, so there’s really no point in braving the crowds anyway.

Social Sharing