Apple has started allowing some customers back into its New York City stores — just hours after the tech giant had banned all in-person shoppers, sparking a backlash online.
The iPhone maker’s Big Apple stores — including its Fifth Avenue, SoHo and World Trade Center flagships — are currently offering “limited” walk in shopping and repair services, according to the company’s site. As recently as Monday evening, the stores were closed to all in-person shoppers and offering order pick-ups only. After outlets including The Post reported on the closures, they quickly drew critics on social media.
“What you guys are doing is shameful and does not make any sense,” one Twitter user complained.
“You should have asked for proof of vaccination before shutting down. You are destroying this city!!!!!!!”
“They enforced that AFTER the Christmas rush,” another user pointed out.
“Do they shut down when someone has a flu?” a third wrote. Hours later, Apple abruptly reversed the decision.
“Sharing an update, which is to say that our NYC stores are accepting limited walk-in for shopping and Genius Bar, as now noted on the stores’ web pages,” spokesman Nick Leahy said in an email to The Post early Tuesday.
Leahy did not respond to a request to elaborate Apple’s decision, which comes as businesses across the country face uncertainty about potential government restrictions and worker shortages as coronavirus cases soar. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention slashed its recommended isolation period from 10 days to five for people who have contracted COVID-19 but no longer have symptoms.
“We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to keep businesses open despite skyrocketing virus cases. On Monday, the city reported a 17,343 new coronavirus cases. The Big Apple’s hospitalization rate more doubled over the previous week as hospitals see a surge of patients, de Blasio said.