According to an internal email obtained by The Verge (Opens in a new window) , Apple is dropping its mask requirement for corporate staff at “most sites.”

Apple’s COVID-19 response team stated that “wearing a face mask will no longer be required in most places” and recommended people to check “frequently” before visiting any firm site. They cited “present conditions” as their justification.

The message stated, “We acknowledge that each individual’s personal circumstances are unique. If you feel more comfortable doing so, don’t be afraid to keep wearing a face mask. Please respect each person’s choice to wear a mask or not.

The New York Times reported 2,576 new cases in California’s Santa Clara County, which is home to Apple HQ as of the week ending July 29 (Opens in a new window) , around the time of the transfer, which coincides with an increase in the highly transmissible BA.5 (Opens in a new window) omicron subvariant.

A COVID vaccination or a negative quick antigen test result will be required of all corporate and retail employees, according to a statement made by Apple earlier this year.

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In April, the company reinstated mask wearing (Opens in a new window) in corporate common areas and for retail staff in about 100 US outlets, as fresh cases started to emerge. Additionally, it put on hold plans for a hybrid return-to-office model, choosing instead to reinstate entirely remote working for those taking part in a two-days-per-week in-office test.

Not just Apple is easing COVID-19 restrictions: After a federal judge in Florida ruled that a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention law requiring face coverings on public transportation was invalid because it exceeded the CDC’s power, Uber and Lyft recently decided to remove their mask requirement for passengers and drivers.

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