Apple will no longer require corporate employees to wear masks at “most locations,” according to an internal email from the company’s COVID-19 response team seen by The Verge. “We are writing to share an update to our current protocols,” the email reads. “In light of current circumstances, wearing a face mask will no longer be required in most locations.”
The company goes on to say that employees can, of course, continue to wear them if they prefer. “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.”
Apple is removing the mask mandate despite the fact that the number of new daily cases in the US currently sits at over 114,000, according to the CDC. Near Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, San Francisco’s BART metro system recently brought back its mask mandate, following the spread of the BA.5 COVID-19 variant that can evade immunity from past COVID-19 infection and vaccination.
Earlier this year, Apple said it would require employees to work at least three days per week at the office by May. However, it later softened that stance, saying that staff can continue to stay at home if they’re not comfortable.