In the US, more than 110,000 new cases are reported every day.
According to an internal email from the company's COVID-19 response team obtained by The Verge, Apple will no longer mandate corporate staff to wear masks at "most locations." The email states, "We are writing to give an update to our current protocols." The majority of places will no longer necessitate the use of face masks given the existing situation.
The business continues by stating that employees are free to keep wearing them if they so choose. "We are aware that each person's circumstances are unique. If wearing a face mask makes you feel more comfortable, don't be afraid to keep doing so. Please respect everyone's choice to wear a mask or not as well."
Apple is dropping the mask requirement even though the CDC reports that there are currently over 114,000 new cases reported each day in the US. Following the spread of the BA.5 COVID-19 variant, which can circumvent immunity from prior COVID-19 infection and vaccination, the BART metro system in San Francisco has reinstated its mask requirement close to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino.
Apple announced earlier this year that starting in May, it would demand that workers put in at least three days a week in the office. Later on, it tempered that attitude by stating that employees could continue to stay at home if they were uneasy.
Apple noted that certain employees could still prefer to wear masks notwithstanding the mandate's removal and advised other staff members to respect their choices.
We understand that each person's circumstances are unique, Apple added. "If wearing a face mask makes you feel more comfortable, don't be afraid to keep doing so. Please respect everyone's choice to wear a mask or not as well."
Despite an increase in COVID-19 cases in the s by the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant, Apple, which has its headquarters in Cupertino, California, abandoned its vaccination requirement.
Masks are no longer required indoors in California, but they are still highly advised. Only when deemed necessary by regional, national, or workplace safety regulations are they mandated.
Employers are required by the state government to give unvaccinated workers respirator masks that have been approved for voluntary use by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. They may be worn when operating inside or around other people in a vehicle.
However, the recent increase in instances has several county offices debating whether to bring back the requirement for masks. Pasadena, Long Beach, and Beverly Hills opted against it, as did the Los Angeles County.