Great Britain

New Apple Watch and iPads go on sale – with mandatory face masks and touchless temperature checks

Apple’s new watches and iPads have gone on sale, after a launch event earlier this week.

The launch is a far cry from other Apple products in the past, which would be met with long queues outside stores and applauding staff inside. While customers are allowed to walk into Apple stores to buy the products, they will have to do so in accordance with health and safety protocols that include mandatory face masks and touchless temperature checks.

Even before the pandemic, the company had been encouraging its customers to pre-order online or book appointments, partly in an attempt to get away from those long lines outside of stores.

The new iPhone would normally also have been announced this week, but has been delayed because of lockdowns.

The new iPad Air, which was also unveiled during the event, will not arrive until next month.

Apple Stores around the world had initially as the coronavirus outbreak spread across the world. In recent months, they have re-opened, but with new health and safety protocols intended to keep them safe.

As well as mandatory face masks and temperature checks at the door, only a limited number of people are allowed in stores, physical distancing will be enforced and the stores will be continually cleaned.

The products can still be bought online as normal. The new Apple Watch Series 6 starts at £379, the Watch SE starts at £269 and the eight-generation iPad starts at £329.

All were announced as part of Apple’s virtual “Time Flies” event on Tuesday, before going on sale on Friday.

Apple also said during the same event that it would be pushing out software updates for the iPhone and Apple TV as well as Apple Watch and iPad. Those have now arrived, and the new iOS 14 update is required to use the new Apple Watches.

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