As the spread of Covid-19 continues to impact retail markets, Apple is taking a bold step to help stem the transmission of the global pandemic. Apple confirmed Saturday that it would be closing all of its physical retail outside of Greater China stores until Friday, March 27.

“We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a letter posted to Apple’s website. “We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers… I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers’ lives. We are all so grateful to you.”

In the same letter, Cook confirmed that all of the company’s stores in Greater China have reopened. While the effects of coronavirus are still evident in the region, the company cited the fact that “the rate of infections has dramatically declined,” when explaining its decision to open their Chinese locations. In all, 42 locations in the country were reopened on Friday. Deep cleaning, health screenings, and temperature checks will be implemented at these locations moving forward.

“There is no mistaking the challenge of this moment,” Cook said in his letter. “The entire Apple family is indebted to the heroic first responders, doctors, nurses, researchers, public health experts and public servants globally who have given every ounce of their spirit to help the world meet this moment. We do not yet know with certainty when the greatest risk will be behind us.”

In response to Apple’s closure of its stores, numerous other companies have begun to follow suit. Verizon announced that it would be closing a number of its stores in the U.S. and expanding its work from home procedures, while another of its rivals in the telecom market, T-Mobile, announced that it would be closing all shopping mall stores until March 16. Urban Outfitters confirmed that it would be closing all of its stores worldwide until Saturday, March 28, including those of its subsidiary brands Anthropologie and Free People.

An Apple store logo is pictured. AFP/Josh Edelson