Apple to shut its stores in France amid Lockdown 3.0

Paris, April 3 (IANS) As France enters its third Covid-19 lockdown phase, Apple has decided to shut down its stores in the country.

While Apple Stores have been generally returning to normal worldwide, Apple has now shut all 20 stores in France, AppleInsider reported on Friday.

“We will soon close temporarily,” said a notice on the Apple Opera Paris’s site (in translation).

“For the moment, we are open for the collection of current online orders, and assistance at the Genius Bar for appointments already scheduled before Saturday, April 3,” it added.

According to MacGeneration, the closure is until further notice. This closure includes ones in French city centers, which had previously been able to continue operating in January’s lockdown.

The move to close retail locations comes in the week that France has closed its schools for at least three weeks. Certain lockdown measures were introduced across the country in March, but now all non-essential stores are to shut from Saturday, April 3.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday night announced a three-week nationwide school closure and a monthlong domestic travel ban to fight the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

In a televised address to the nation, Macron said efforts are needed as “the epidemic is accelerating”.

aceWe will lose control if we do not move now,” the president said.

However, there is no indication yet of any expected reopening dates.

The overall number of global Covid-19 cases has surpassed 129.4 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 2.82 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Friday morning, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 129,475,545 and 2,826,018, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 30,538,427 and 553,120, respectively, followed by Brazil as the second worst-hit country.

The other countries with more than two million confirmed coronavirus cases are India, France, Russia, the UK, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Colombia, Argentina, Poland and Mexico, the CSSE figures showed.

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