Apple is dropping its mask mandates for corporate employees at “most locations,” according to an internal email from the COVID-19 response team, obtained by The Verge.
“Don’t hesitate to continue wearing a face mask if you feel more comfortable doing so,” the email reads. “Also, please respect every individual’s decision to wear a mask or not.”
The move comes amid a 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.
Apple started requiring some employees to return to the office in April, but stopped short of implementing its full hybrid model, which would mandate three days of in-person work for all employees, every week.
Read Apple’s internal email here:
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