Some say the pandemic is over. Some don’t. For what it is worth, companies have been in the process of relaxing norms for their employees that are required to work from the office. Apple today joined them to drop mask mandates for corporate employees. The Verge claims to have obtained an internal email that Apple’s Covid-19 response team sent to employees, telling them that wearing a mask in offices is now a choice. Also Read - Apple Store goes down in India ahead of iPhone 14 launch Event 2022
In the email, Apple has, however, urged employees to “continue wearing a face mask” if they feel more comfortable with that. Employees should also “respect every individual’s decision to wear a mask or not,” the email said, per the report. Apple, essentially, does not want any sort of discrimination happening on the basis of whether or not someone has put on a mask. Also Read - Apple Store launches cashback offer for iPhone, iPad, MacBook in India: Here are top deals
Apple’s decision, however, comes at a time when the US is facing a surge in the highly contagious BA.5 variant of Covid-19. The US reported more than 176,000 new cases on August 1, according to data provided by The New York Times. In April, Apple asked employees to return to the office as a part of the hybrid work mode. But, considering the prevalent pandemic-related circumstances, the company delayed the hybrid return to work for office employees. Back then, it announced that employees who were going office two days a week would have the option to work fully remotely once again. Also Read - Apple may finally open official stores in two Indian cities. Could this translate to cheaper iPhones?
Here is the full email Apple sent to its employees (via The Verge):
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