(Reuters) – Apple Inc has temporarily closed all 53 of its stores in California due to the coronavirus outbreak and 16 stores in the UK following government restrictions imposed in London, a spokesman said Saturday.
The company said on Friday that it was temporarily closing several stores in California following a spike in COVID-19 cases, sending the iPhone maker shares in trading after the bell. The announcement includes at least 12 stores.
“Due to the current COVID-19 condition in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing shops in this area. We are taking this step very carefully as we are monitoring the situation closely and we hope our team and customers will return as soon as possible, ”the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Customers can still pick up existing orders for the next few days, the spokesperson said. The statement did not say when Apple expected the stores to reopen.
Coronavirus cases are rising in the United States and Great Britain, with more than 17.4 million infections in the US and around 314,000 deaths.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday imposed an effective lockdown of more than 16 million people in Britain and scrapped plans to reduce restrictions over Christmas. Other British states, whose response to the pandemic was different from that of Britain at that time, also took action.
Johnson said London and south-east England would now be placed on the new Tier 4 lockdown level and people in those areas would be required to stay home except for important reasons such as work. Non-essential retail will close, as will indoor recreation and entertainment.
Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Edited by Cynthia Osterman and Grant McCool
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