Employees at Apple’s corporate venues are now given the choice whether or not they wear a face mask inside the office.
In an internal email from Apple’s COVID-19 Response Team obtained by The Verge, corporate employees are told that the company is updating current protocols “in light of current circumstances”, and staff are encouraged to continue wearing a face mask if they feel more secure and comfortable doing so.
Apple also included in the email that “everyone’s personal circumstances are different” and corporate employees are reminded to respect every individual’s decision to wear a mask or not.
The move comes despite a fresh surge in the highly transmissible BA.5 variant of COVID-19. Earlier this week, the Bay Area transit system BART brought back its mask mandate.
Here is Apple’s internal email:
We are writing to share an update to our current protocols. In light of current circumstances, wearing a face mask will no longer be required in most locations. As always, please check Welcome Forward regularly for specific requirements for your site, including those from local health authorities, or any site you may visit.
We recognize that everyone’s personal circumstances are different. Don’t hesitate to continue wearing a face mask if you feel more comfortable doing so. Also, please respect every individual’s decision to wear a mask or not.
Thank you for all that you do to support Apple’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The COVID-19 Response Team
Apple employees began returning to their offices on April 11 for one day a week, thus ending a two-year work-from-home policy that the tech giant implemented during the pandemic.
Apple is still operating a hybrid home/office work strategy for its corporate employees in the United States.
Originally, Apple planned to have three days per week of in-person work for all employees by May 23, but the company reversed the decision after a surge in infections, and so a two-day requirement was imposed instead on May 4.
Image: Apple Park – Inc.com