Apple has closed almost all of its retail stores around the world until March 27 in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Only the company’s Greater China stores will remain open. Many of those same stores have only recently reopened as rates of new infections in China continue to fall. Store employees will continue to be paid their usual rate for the duration of the shutdown.
No interest on Apple Cards for March — The company has also announced it will waive interest payments on its Goldman Sachs’ backed Apple Cards for the month of March for those customers who aren’t able to afford them. Those affected need to register for this “Customer Assistance Program” through the Apple Card website. The initiative was first spotted by a Reddit user, and reported by MacRumors.
Those Apple employees who can work from home are being encouraged to do so, and consumers needing support with the company's products or services are being directed to its online support site.
Ongoing pay and other support — “All of our hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations. We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures,” the company said in a statement from CEO Tim Cook on Friday.
Apple’s already seen its production capabilities affected by the coronavirus and has revised its sale projections for 2020 in its wake. It’s also had to move its annual developer conference, WWDC, online. At least it's responsing swiftly and responsibly to the pandemic, though, which is more than can be said of the U.S. government.