Apple to Temporarily Close Retail Location in Italy Over COVID-19

Apple is temporarily closing a store in Bergamo, Italy following a government decree regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Apple Insider, Apple has updated its regional webpage in Italy to show it is closing Apple Oriocenter in the province of Bergamo on March 7 and 8, a decision made as Italian health officials try to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Apple has also cancelled “Today at Apple” sessions at select stores through March 8. This comes as Italy faces a limited outbreak of coronavirus in the country. 79 people have so far died in Italy as a result of the coronavirus. This is the largest number outside China, where the novel coronavirus originated.

The news comes after a leaked employee memo revealed Apple was banning all non-business-critical travel to Italy and Korea, adding to a company-wide travel ban on trips to China.

The company has told employees they are only allowed to travel to those regions for critical business purposes and must get approval from a company vice president, according to messages viewed by Bloomberg.

The memo sent Monday evening also outlined Apple-s procedures for handling the virus outbreak, including the encouragement for meetings to be held online.

“There are many ways to continue to manage our ongoing meetings and activities through calls and video,” Apple said in the email to workers, according to the publication.

“If you do have travel planned, we suggest you work with your managers to consider delaying or cancelling business travel which could be postponed or managed through virtual meetings.”

Apple has also temporarily closed its retail stores, support centers and corporate offices in China following the virus spread. However, the company recently re-opened many of these stores following news that China has largely managed to contain the virus outbreak.