Apple is dropping its mask requirements for company employees in ‘most locations,’ according to an internal memo obtained by The edge.

Apple’s COVID-19 response team told company employees on Monday that the company was updating current protocols “in light of current circumstances” and urged staff to continue wearing face masks. if he feels more comfortable doing so.

Apple also noted in the email that “everyone’s personal circumstances are different” and reminded company employees to respect each individual’s decision whether or not to wear a mask.

Apple has changed its operating policies throughout the pandemic to stay compliant with local regulations and mitigate risk to employees and customers in areas where COVID is increasing.

For example, Apple in March relaxed its mask requirements for its retail employees in the United States due to a drop in Covid-19 cases and a relaxation of local mandates.

The latest decision, however, comes amid a new wave of infections in California that were first identified in the Bay Area, due to the highly contagious Omicron BA.5 subvariant.

Apple still operates a hybrid work-from-home and office policy for corporate employees in the United States. Staff began returning to their offices on April 11 for one day a week, ending a two-year work-from-home policy Apple implemented during the pandemic.

Apple had originally planned to have staff in the office for three weekdays by May 23, but the company reversed its decision after an increase in infections, and a two-day requirement was imposed on May 4.

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