Apple temporarily closes stores worldwide

Apple temporarily closes stores worldwide
FILE PHOTO - Apple CEO Tim Cook says the tech giant’s retail operation outside of China is going online-only for two weeks as part of efforts to fight the global viral pandemic. (Source: CNN)

(AP) - Apple plans to temporarily close all its retail stores to help control the spread of coronavirus.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Friday the tech giant’s retail operation outside of China is going online-only for two weeks as part of efforts to fight the global viral pandemic.

Cook tweeted that “Apple will be temporarily closing all stores outside of Greater China until March 27 and committing $15 million to help with worldwide recovery."

In a lengthier online statement, Cook said that Apple’s stores in China have all now reopened and what the company has learned there has helped it develop “best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response.”

Team members in the company’s offices worldwide will work remotely if their job allows and those required to be on site are advised to maximize interpersonal space, according to CNN. Apple said it will roll out new health screenings and temperature checks in all of its offices.

Apple’s online stores are still open and workers will continue to be paid, he said.

In addition, CNN reported the company has expanded its leave policies to accommodate personal and family health circumstances created by the pandemic, including recovering from illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media, Inc. contributed to this report.