You probably won’t see crowds like this for a while.


Ian Knighton/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Apple’s retail stores are responding to the growing threat of the novel coronavirus. The company’s closed its stores throughout Italy after the country went on lockdown, halting its Today at Apple in-store education sessions and reduced other potential chances for staff and customers to transmit the virus.

The company hasn’t made official announcements, but instead chosen to leave notes throughout its website. Each of the Italian stores it operates now indicate they are closed, with an indication of potentially reduced hours in the future. The company’s Today at Apple sessions meanwhile have been “paused” as a “precautionary measure,” the company wrote on its retail store pages throughout the Americas.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The moves show how the world’s most highly valued tech company is navigating the coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19. Early research indicates the virus is more deadly than the typical flu. As it’s spread around the world, governments have closed schools, companies have told staff to work from home, and entertainment and sports organizations have delayed releases and shut down operations. Even Disneyland shut down.


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Last month, Apple closed all its stores in China in response to virus’s outbreak there, but reopened them this week according to its website. The company also reportedly asked store employees not to encourage customers to try on an Apple Watch or AirPod headphone in the store either.

All this is having an impact on the company’s bottom line. In February, Apple warned investors that iPhone supplies would likely thin as a result of work stoppages in China. As a result, Apple said its revenue would likely dip as well. 

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