COLBORNE, ONT. -- An icon of the 401 has a new look.

The Big Apple in Colborne, Ont. is now sporting a mask.

General Manager Sylvia Nagy says they put the mask on the apple on Thursday because that’s the rule at the store.

“Social distancing is the key these days so why not make Mr. Apple Head, that’s what we call him, obey the rules and wear a mask,” she explains.

She also says it is in support of front-line workers.

“They’re out there trying to reduce the spread of the virus, and we need to do our share.”

Nagy says she was surprised by the response. Since the mask has gone up, people have been “going crazy.”

“Social media went crazy, Facebook went crazy, people have been pulling off the 401,” she laughs. “We thought it’s a great idea but we didn’t know how others were going to take it.”

No matter what the reason, visitors are enjoying the new addition.

Connor D’sa and his dad were driving from Burlington to Tweed when they noticed the mask. He says they just had to make a stop.

“I was like, 'I didn’t know apples could wear a mask! I didn’t even know apples could get COVID,'” jokes the 10-year-old.

His dad Jon D’sa says it’s “hilarious.”

“I guess it lets people know to come by, if you’re comfortable, come on in.”

Adam King and his two sons Dallas and Jacob stopped in for the day as well, after seeing it on Facebook.

“I chose not to tell them about it, I wanted it to be a surprise,” laughs King. “They were like, 'what!'”

“Just like quarantine!” Says 6-year-old Jacob.

The apple was built in 1988 and it was given a face in 2013. It is 12.1 m tall, 11.5 m wide, and weighs 42 tonnes. It can hold 650,000 apples, according to Nagy.

Usually, residents would be able to climb it to an observation deck, but the observation deck is closed.

Nagy says the mask will be on Mr. Apple Head as long as it needs to be.

“Just come out and take a picture,” she smiles.