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Is Sephora Closed Due To Coronavirus? Here's How The Brand Is Responding To The Pandemic

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As we all practice our absolute best social distancing skills during the COVID-19 pandemic, now is not the best time to pop into any crowded store if you can help it. In fact, several stores themselves are completely adjusting when, how, and if they're operating because of the virus — and Sephora is one of them. If you're wondering if Sephora is closed due to the coronavirus, you don't have to wonder anymore. The brand released a serious update regarding its response to the global pandemic that's infected over 1,500 people in the U.S.

Late on Monday, March 16, Sephora confirmed on its website it would temporarily close all its locations. "Today we have made the difficult decision to close all of our retail stores in the US and Canada and implement remote working for employees in our corporate offices from 5pm local time tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17) through Friday, April 3," the brand wrote in a statement.

Sephora also provided an update on how the closings will affect its store employees. "We will continue to care for our employees and their families. Any changes to our corporate or store operations will not affect our commitment to them," read the statement. "To that end, all store employees will continue to receive their base pay for scheduled shifts for the duration of this closure. In addition, health and wellness benefits for employees who are currently enrolled will continue. And all distribution center employees will receive the same considerations should we experience any unplanned disruptions in one of our centers."

Earlier on Wednesday, March 11, on the community section of its website, Sephora laid out the initial steps it was taking to address COVID-19. At that time, the brand said several Sephora stores would remain open, but some store hours or openings may be affected, given local government guidelines and curfews. "Due to COVID-19, some of our store hours are impacted and some stores are now closed," the brand wrote on its website. "Please reach out to your local store directly for the most up-to-date info."

Before making the decision to close,the brand said it would take additional steps, in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and more, to ensure stringent hygiene standards were upheld. This meant regularly cleaning "all high-touch areas, including workstations, product displays, and hygiene stations, with a hospital-grade disinfecting cleaner." This also included the disinfecting and regular replacing of display product testers several times throughout the day. "It is, however, advised not to directly apply makeup that may have been used by others, but rather test it on your arm and use a disposable applicator," the brand wrote. "If you are still unsure, please ask a Beauty Advisor for assistance on how best to test or sample a product."

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In that earlier update, Sephora also said it would increase the availability of hand sanitizer for all patrons and employees with multiple access points in and outside stores, and it's upping the amount of weekly deep cleanings for all stores and distribution centers.

Most notably, the brand ceased all in-store beauty services, including makeup and skincare applications, and classes. "We invite you to engage with our well-trained employees who are happy to teach and coach on how to use and apply product through face charts and tools like our Digital Makeover Guide and Virtual Artist," the brand said. "We will inform any clients with current online bookings of this change, and we look forward to welcoming back our clients in the future."

To prioritize its employees' health and safety, the brand offers paid sick time off for full-time and hourly employees, and it will still pay any employee who under quarantine — self-imposed or otherwise. Sephora is also committed to adjusting its approach to the coronavirus as necessary, developing two command centers "with representatives from critical business units to guide our organization swiftly in response to this evolving issue and ensure the care of our community."

Of course, because social distancing and staying home as much as possible is of the essence right now, Sephora is also offering free shipping with the code FREESHIP on Sephora.com, Sephora.ca, and the Sephora app.

Editor's Note: This article was updated on March 17 at 5:00 a.m. ET to reflect Sephora's most recent response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’ spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.

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