9to5Mac ‘s Michael Steeber noticed an interesting coincidence today: the company has temporarily closed every retail store in California, many more in the US, both stores in Mexico, both stores in Brazil, and is about to close 16 additional stores across the UK. As Steeber remarks, that’s nearly 100 stores if we include stores that closed last week in Germany and the Netherlands, and nearly a fifth of businesses are now closed worldwide.
I checked Apple’s full list of stores to confirm and sure enough: every store in California, all four in Tennessee, all three in Utah, all four in Minnesota, two in Oklahoma, and the stores in Portland, Oregon; Anchorage, Alaska; Omaha, Nebraska; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, are all closed this coming week – as well as the 16 additional stores in the UK, Mexico and Brazil starting tomorrow, December 20th.
It’s not hard to guess why the stores close again, especially in California where COVID-19 last week saw its four deadliest days in a row as part of a continuing boom, and in London where Prime Minister Boris Johnson the city just closed in an emergency in the middle of midnight. Apple confirmed the core of it in a statement: “Due to the current Covid-19 conditions in some communities we serve, our stores are temporarily closing in these areas,” the company said. tell Bloomberg.
Yesterday, for the first time since the pandemic began, California activated its emergency alert system in the SF Bay area and sent a message directly to each phone to help people understand that a stay-at-home order is now in effect.