Flickr user Butz.2013 / CC BY

With COVID 19 on a worldwide rampage, “normal” and “routine” seem like words from the distant past. The virus caused the entire world to go into lockdown mode, which spanned for months. Thus, when restrictions were eased, people filled with joy by the idea of getting out of their homes. However, it seems like that joy won’t lost for long, at least for Apple employees working in stores situated in Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Seeing how coronavirus cases are on a steep rise in a second wave, with no signs of a flattening curve, Apple has decided to shut down shops in various parts of the United States, including Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The decision is temporary, and the shops will reopen whenever the situation gets a little under control. Moreover, any customers that have submitted their devices for repair in any of the 11 stores being shut down will have the weekend to get them back.

The list of stores shutting down include Waterside Shops and Coconut Point in Florida, Southpark and Northlake mall in North Carolina, Haywood Mall in South Carolina, and Chandler Fashion Center, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Arrowhead, SanTan Village, Scottsdale Quarter and La Encantada in Arizona.

The company had decided to open 100 stores in the country, some with curbside pickup and others with full walk in service, back in May, when the government started easing up on restrictions. However, that is exactly when things went awry, and protests erupted in multiple parts of the country, leading to huge gatherings. It’s not confirmed if the protests were the progenitor for this huge rise in cases, but one can surely assume.

Reuters reports that  Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s retail chief, had said in a letter to Apple customers in May, that the company would look at data on a local basis and that re-closings were a possibility based on that data. “These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant,” O’Brien had said.

The company had announced that it might be opening up the New York store soon, and plans to get the number of open stores to 200 by the end of the week, earlier this week. However, it looks like that is out of the cards now.

CNBC reports: “Due to current Covid-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible,” an Apple spokesman said in a statement.

The announcement lead to a 0.5% decrease in Apple’s share market value.