State announces new social distancing guidelines for large retailers, customers
Institute new cleaning mandates, crowd control measures for staff
PROVIDENCE — Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott announced new guidelines issued by the Department of Business Regulation for retailers and grocers as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, March 26,, all retailers and grocers must:
- Allow no more than 20% of stated fire capacity in the store at a time;
- Require staff to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and enforce limits;
- Clearly mark 6’ spacing in lines and other high-traffic areas. Stores should consider posting signage or using ropes to direct customers and to limit bottlenecks/encourage flow in high-density areas of stores;
- Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers;
- Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout;
- Designate employee(s) to ensure the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC are followed;
- Discontinue self-serve foods and product sampling; and
- Offer exclusive hours for those in high-risk populations, including seniors, where stores will restrict entrance to maintain 10% of fire capacity.
Larger grocery stores and retailers with more than 25,000 square feet are encouraged to offer pickup and/or delivery options.