stores reopening in Australia and Germany; UK may adopt Apple and Google API

Coronavirus: stores reopening in Australia and Germany;  UK may adopt Apple and Google API

As certain countries manage to contain the advancing pandemic of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), some social and commercial activities are being resumed – adopting, of course, all sanitary precautions to prevent a new explosion of cases.

This is the case of Australia and the Germany, where some Apple stores have reopened in the last few days (and will reopen in the next few), as we will see below – as has already happened in Austria.

In addition, several governments continue to analyze the exposure alert solution Apple and Google against the spread of the pandemic – including the United Kingdom, which could abandon a technology developed by the English health service in favor of the API of the two technology giants.

Stores in Australia

After nearly two months closed, 21 of the 22 Apple stores in Australia have reopened this week. So far, the strategy to stem the country’s pandemic has proven successful, allowing Apple to open its doors in the region again – which are operating with a limited number of customers and other restrictions.

At Apple Broadway (in Sydney), for example, customers had to wait in a line with a distance of at least two meters between each person. The Apple team also distributed masks at the store’s door and checked everyone’s temperature with an infrared thermometer.

Temperature checks, lines and face masks to enter the Apple Store on opening day.
And the doors are open! Signs of retail life at Rundle Mall as customers can reexamine Apple’s shelves.
Customers lining up for temperature checks at Apple Robina’s reopening.

For now the appointments at the Genius Bar are being marked with some distance between them, because the store is serving with a reduced team. In addition, in some locations only half the doors are open to help limit the flow of customers.

As you can see in the video below, recorded at Apple Chadstone, the Forum where the sessions Today at Apple carried out is with seats spaced apart.

First look at the Apple Store finally open in Chadstone.

Responsibility also falls on the shoulders of customers, who must do their part to maintain physical distance and sympathize with the new meaning of «open». In this sense, Apple continues to promote online shopping, in addition to implementing a new location for customers who purchased new products through the website or the app to search for them without physical contact.

The only store that did not reopen in the country was flagship Apple Sydney, as it is undergoing a major renovation.

Shops in Germany

After Australia, Apple is expected to reopen at least 3 stores in Germany. The company has 15 points in the region, but only those in DĂĽsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich will open with limited hours starting on the day may 11 (next Monday), according to the German newspaper Macerkopf.

As has been done practically all over the world, German Apple Stores will also implement social distance and adopt security measures at the entrance of the store, such as checking the temperature and requiring the use of a mask that covers mouth to nose.

Our concept of keeping a minimum distance requires that only a limited number of visitors remain in the store at the same time, so other customers must wait at the entrance. We recommend our customers, if possible, to buy online with the delivery or collection options in the store.

This reopening is in line with Germany’s pandemic containment policy, which this week saw the first relaxation of blocking rules with the opening of some stores.

UK and Apple / Google API

Last month, the National Health Service (National Health Service, or NHS) in the UK announced that it would launch its own exposure alert app for iOS and Android, which would differ from the option presented by Apple and Google in that it does not include this notification feature.

Apple and Google logos

However, a new report by Financial Times says the NHS asked its developers to «investigate» the move to Apple and Google’s standard. Such a change would be a reflection of the criticisms faced by the solution proposed by the NHS, which would send the obtained data to a server, which raised concerns about the privacy of users.

The NHS, in turn, defended this practice by saying that a centralized system will allow it to collect more data on the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

The move to the Apple and Google API would solve these problems, in addition to adding new privacy protections and ensuring that battery life is not affected (another problem that NHS technology faces). As such, it remains to be seen which solution the UK will adopt.

via Cult of Mac [1, 2], AppleInsider