Apple will shutter all of its retail locations in the United Kingdom amid a new national lockdown implemented in response to a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
On Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson reimposed a lockdown with tighter restrictions that is set to last until mid-February, The Wall Street Journal reported. The lockdown orders nonessential businesses to close, including retail stores that sell “electronic goods” and “mobile phone shops.”
As a result of the new restrictions, Apple is temporarily closing all of its 38 Apple Store locations in the U.K.
The lockdown — the U.K.’s third since the start of the pandemic — is being implemented in response to a new, more infectious variant of the coronavirus that has fueled a surge in cases and hospitalizations. In a televised address on Monday, Johnson said “it is clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control.” He added that “the government is once again instructing you to stay at home.”
Apple in December also temporarily closed its Los Angeles area retail stores because of local spikes in coronavirus infections and a lack of hospital bed capacity in the region.