After months of lockdown, the first wave of businesses and public spaces are reopening. A small batch of Apple Stores are among the first businesses resuming operation, and while that means it may soon be easier for you to get a busted iPhone or MacBook repaired, there are some restrictions in place that you need to be aware of before waltzing down to the nearest Apple Store.
Limited locations and occupancy
First, only a few stores are open for now—roughly 100 locations worldwide—and further reopenings are subject to local conditions. Chances are that stores in rural communities and counties with little-to-no confirmed COVID-19 cases will reopen soonest; branches in larger cities and areas heavily impacted by the pandemic will take longer to resume operation. Many stores will be limiting the number of customers allowed in at a time so physical distancing can be safely implemented and customers can be given proper attention. That means some of us will have to wait in line to get our Apple products fixed.
Personal safety gear and etiquette
As when visiting any public space, observe general personal safety guidelines if you need to go to an Apple Store (or any other public location):
- A mask and gloves will be mandatory for all Apple Store customers for the foreseeable future. All Apple employees will be wearing them, too, and in some cases will be conducting business behind protective glass barriers.
- Customers must have their temperature taken before entering the store.
- While in line and in the store, maintain physical distancing.
- Carry personal sanitation supplies like hand sanitizer.
- Properly (and safely) wash your hands and devices before and after your visit.
- Follow any other restrictions and recommendations your city has in place.
- Oh, and if you’re sick, just stay home.
Don’t go if you don’t have to
You can find nearby open Apple Stores using Apple’s Find a Store tool, however, please don’t go rushing to a nearby store unless you absolutely need to.
Don’t drive across your state just because you want to pick up a new device in-store—you can always buy a new product from Apple’s online store or other online retailers. Similarly, only visit a store for repairs if it’s your only option. There are plenty of great guides on simple fixes you can safely perform on your phone or laptop at home—including our recent guide on fixing your own cracked iPhone screen while in quarantine.
While I sympathize with a desire for some semblance of normalcy, there’s still a long way to go before anything resembling “normal” can return, and the more cautious now, the less we’ll have to worry about in the future.