Apple is once again temporarily closing the doors on its Apple Stores throughout the UK as England and the majority of Scotland enter a new lockdown period.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced this week that the new lockdown orders will temporarily shutter non-essential businesses, schools. This then signalled for Apple Store amongst many other small and large businesses to close during the duration of the lockdown. In England, the lockdown will effectively last until mid-February at the earliest. For Scotland, the lockdown is said to be in place until the end of January.
As reported by MacRumors, Apple Stores have now already closed its doors. Consumers in the UK hoping to purchase Apple devices are now notified to shop online with “free, contactless delivery”. As the timeframe of when the lockdown will be lifted is a bit nebulous, the UK Apple Store locator only mentions that the company looks forward to welcoming customers again in the future.
Apple has also clarified to MacRumors and has stated that customers seeking a return on a product purchased in-store can do so when local Apple Stores open following the lockdown.
The latest lockdown has been set in place due to a surge in COVID-19 cases within the UK. A reported 58,784 cases were declared on Monday, with 407 deaths over the span of 28 days of a positive test. This reported number of cases marks the highest surge the UK has seen since the outbreak in the spring of last year. Additionally, concern has been mounting as new strains of the virus have been discovered in the UK.