LONDON – It had been a long time since I was last in an Apple Store. I bought an iPad in early 2020 and then … well … COVID-19 … you know the rest … However, I ordered an Apple Watch SE and saw it was available the next day at the Apple Store near my house instead of two weeks time if I expected delivery. So I grabbed my mask and left.
Visiting an Apple Store during the COVID-19 pandemic
Apple has put a number of safety measures in place at its outlets opened during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are all very noticeable as soon as you arrive.
I had to book a 15 minute slot and before that time an order number was emailed to me. You can add the voucher to the Wallet app and it will be scanned by a masked staff member. Multiple staff members check the codes of those queuing outside. I was quickly guided to the doors of the shop. There, I had my temperature checked. After that, I was escorted to stand at one of the tables where devices are usually displayed and Genius appointments are made. No one else was on that table, and very few others were in the same Apple Store. My new device was delivered to me and I left. The whole process probably took less than five minutes and felt very well organized and safe.
A couple of caveats: I only arrived at the Apple Store a minute or two before it opened, so there were no backlogs for the day and, consequently, minimal queues. I was just picking up something I had already paid for, so my need to interact with staff, browse or whatever was very limited as well. However, as I said, in typical Apple fashion there was a plan in place and it was executed well by the staff, making what could have been an unpleasant experience into a fairly simple one.