Apple’s COVID-19 Response Team has sent out an internal e-mail to employees letting them know they no longer need to wear face masks, according to The Verge. Almost three years after the start of the pandemic, Apple is finally offering its employees the choice whether they wear a mask or not, rather than forcing them on people.
In the e-mail, Apple said that given current circumstances, people no longer need to wear masks. While the rule change applies in most locations, the company said there may be a few exceptions, but didn’t elaborate. The company said that employees can still choose to wear masks if they would like. It asked employees to respect each other's decisions about what they decide to do going forward.
The e-mail reads:
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
Despite flare-ups of new COVID-19 variants around the world, the situation today is vastly different to what it was during earlier waves of the pandemic. The fact that most people have had a full course of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as boosters, means many fewer people are developing serious conditions after catching the disease. Typical symptoms for those who catch it now include a sore throat and cough, and an elevated heart rate. The disease usually lasts around 10 days before going away.
In May, Apple decided to slow down its hybrid working plans, where employees would come into work for a few days and work remotely the rest of the time. At this time the company asked employees to wear masks in common spaces such as meeting rooms, hallways, and elevators. With today’s update, these rules are no longer in place.