Apple is indefinitely delaying plans to return to the office, Bloomberg News reported, while the company said it has temporarily closed three stores in the United States and Canada after an increase in COVID-19 cases and exposures among store workers .
Company employees were previously scheduled to return to their offices on February 1, according to the report, citing a note sent by chief executive Tim Cook.
Growing concerns over the rapid variant of the Omicron coronavirus have derailed plans by several companies for a return to normalcy.
Google has told its employees they will lose their wages and possibly be made redundant if they fail to follow the company’s vaccination rules, a report says, while JP Morgan Chase has asked its unvaccinated Manhattan staff to work from home.
The closures of Apple stores in Miami, Annapolis and Ottawa come a day after the company reinstated its policy requiring all customers of its stores in the United States to wear face masks.
All employees at the three stores will be tested before the stores reopen, the company said.
During the pandemic, Apple has closed some stores for short periods around the world as coronavirus lockdowns have been put in place and lifted.
COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in parts of Canada and the United States, with the Canadian government on Wednesday imploring its residents not to leave the country.
© Thomson Reuters 2021