Things are finally starting to look up from the dark depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumer outlook on the economy is rising, there are less hospitalizations due to the virus, and states are even beginning to lift their restrictions. Guidelines including indoor capacity and mandatory facial coverings are lightening up, so retailers can soon expect to go back to the normal shopping patterns. Most states have updated COVID-19 information right on their website, and Independent Retailer also has them summed up for you. This list is constantly being updated to make it easier for retailers to comply with their state and know what is going on.
Alabama – UPDATED
Governor Kay Ivey issued her twenty-third supplemental emergency proclamation extending the Safer at Home Order that includes a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order.
For more information, visit covid19.alabama.gov.
Alaska – UPDATED
Retail businesses must practice at least 6 feet of social distancing between each customer and all employees, it is recommended that cleaning and disinfecting continue to be conducted in compliance with CDC protocols, and facial coverings are recommended for both employees and patrons.
For more information, visit covid19.alaska.gov/reopen.
Any business shall develop, establish, implement and enforce policies that adopt guidance from the CDC, the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Arizona Department of Health Services to limit and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including intensifying cleaning and disinfection, ensuring physical distancing, and requiring face coverings, among others.
For more information, visit azgovernor.gov/governor/reopening-guidance.
Arkansas – UPDATED
Retail businesses should limit the number of people who can enter the store at one time, encourage social distancing inside the store, provide masks and gloves to employees who wish to use them, clean and sanitize surfaces that are frequently touched, and put up signs around the store reminding customers about COVID-19 health guidelines.
For more information, visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus.
California – UPDATED
There are a total of 58 different counties in California, all with their own regulations. The details for each county can be found on the California government’s website. Depending on the severity of the spreading of the virus in each county, retail businesses can operate at 25% capacity (for widespread) or 50% capacity (for substantial).
For more information, visit covid19.ca.gov.
Colorado – UPDATED
Colorado’s dial framework standardizes different levels of “openness” at the county level. It is a tool that allows Colorado to balance the urgent need to contain the virus with the need for localized guidance during the pandemic. Check the government’s COVID-19 website to see which level your county falls in, and what the restrictions are in your area.
For more information, visit covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-dial.
Connecticut – UPDATED
For all businesses and organizations, capacity limits are now up to 100%, 6 ft. social distancing continues to be required where possible, masks continue to be required in all public settings, and all establishments must follow CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting guidelines.
For more information, visit portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.
Delaware – UPDATED
While in Phase 2 Reopening, all individuals must wear face coverings while in public, the total number of guests permitted is limited to 50% of the facility’s state fire occupancy requirements as stated in the State of Emergency, and businesses must ensure social distancing of at least 6 feet as well as post signage around the store about how to stop the spread of COVID-19.
For more information, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov.
District of Columbia – UPDATED
Individuals over the age of 9 must wear masks or face coverings when engaging in: essential and minimum basic operations of a business when persons are in the presence of others and essential travel if social distance cannot be maintained. Businesses must provide employees with face masks and post signage around the store, enforcing everyone to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Retailers are limited to no more than 25% of their full capacity.
For more information, visit coronavirus.dc.gov.
Florida – UPDATED
There are 67 counties in Florida, each with their own regulations, so be sure to check their website for your specific county’s regulations. During Phase 3 of Reopening, retail businesses can operate at full capacity but should continue to maintain adequate sanitation practices for employees and patrons, and face masks are recommended.
For more information, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov/businesses.
Georgians are strongly encouraged to wear masks, observe social distancing, and regularly wash and sanitize their hands. Businesses are encouraged to commit to the Georgia Safety Promise to help instill consumer confidence and empower businesses by taking critical steps to help protect each other during COVID-19, and keep Georgia open for business.
For more information, visit georgia.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-georgia.
Hawaii – UPDATED
The current status of Hawaii regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is to Act with Care, which means residents are recommended to wear face coverings. All customers must wear a face covering while waiting to enter and while at a business. All employees who have any contact with customers or goods to be purchased by customers must wear cloth face coverings compliant with CDC recommendations while at work.
For more information, visit governor.hawaii.gov/covid-19.
Residents should wear face coverings while in public, especially when six-foot distancing is not always possible. Employers should identify how masks, face coverings, and gloves may be required by employees depending on the county, as well as maintain social distancing in enclosed areas.
For more information, visit www.labor.idaho.gov/dnn/COVID-19.
Illinois – UPDATED
Phase 3 executive order requires continued use of face coverings when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot distance. Face coverings are required in public indoor spaces such as stores. Retailers must provide face coverings to all employees. Retailers can operate at 50% capacity.
For more information, visit dph.illinois.gov/covid19/governor-pritzkers-executive-orders-and-rules.
Indiana – UPDATED
Face coverings are required for all residents. Businesses that are open to the public must follow county metric guidelines and are required to place clearly visible signage at their public and employee entrances notifying all that face coverings are required. Businesses should only admit only those who wear face coverings and practice social distancing. See county specific guidelines on the state government website for indoor maximum capacity information.
For more information, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov.
Iowa – UPDATED
Cloth face coverings are recommended and everyone is encouraged to social distance while outside of their homes. Businesses should follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, encourage social distancing, and post signage at the door notifying consumers of how to stop the spread of the virus.
For more information, visit coronavirus.iowa.gov/pages/guidance.
Individuals are strongly encouraged to wear cloth masks in public settings and especially when using mass transit. Employees should follow industry-specific guidance on mask use in workplaces.
For more information, visit covid.ks.gov.
Residents are required to wear face coverings. Businesses must ensure that employees must wear a cloth mask and gloves with jobs including touching items often touched by others. Businesses shall provide PPE at no cost to employees, and offer instruction on proper use of PPE.
For more information, visit governor.ky.gov/covid19.
Louisiana – UPDATED
Louisiana is now in Phase 3 of Reopening. All residents are still required to wear face coverings, and businesses shall require that any owner or employee interacting or making contact with the public shall wear a face covering. Retailers can now operate at 75% capacity, moved up from 50%.
For more information, visit coronavirus.la.gov.
Maine – UPDATED
Effective March 26, the capacity limit for indoor gatherings will increase to 50%, and outdoor gatherings to 75%. Effective May 24, the capacity limit for indoor gatherings will increase to 75%, and outdoor gatherings to 100%. All residents must continue to wear face masks in public and maintain social distancing measures.
For more information, visit www.maine.gov/covid19.
Maryland – UPDATED
Capacity limits have been lifted for retail businesses. The use of masks and social distancing continues to remain mandatory.
For more information, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/business-resources.
Massachusetts – UPDATED
Massachusetts is currently in Phase 3 of Reopening. Businesses must maintain social distancing requirements, face coverings are required for employees.
For more information, visit www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information#regulations-&-guidance-.
All residents must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth. Employers must require face coverings to be worn when employees cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace, and consider face shields when employees cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace. Employers must provide non-medical grade face coverings to their employees.
For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
All residents are required to wear a face covering in all indoor businesses and public indoor spaces, unless alone. All businesses must implement a Preparedness Plan, limit on-premises capacity to 50 people, require workers to wear masks, and encourage customers to do so.
For more information, visit mn.gov/covid19/business-orgs/resources/index.jsp.
All employees must wear appropriate PPE based on their duties and responsibilities and in adherence with local guidelines/regulations. Every employee who comes into direct contact with customers shall be provided a face mask and shall be required to wear the face covering while on duty.
For more information, visit governorreeves.ms.gov/covid-19.
State guidelines for reopening include recommendation that employers implement basic infection prevention measures like use of protective equipment.
For more information, visit dss.mo.gov/covid-19.
The Governor encourages residents of Montana to wear cloth masks or face coverings in public. Employers should develop and implement appropriate policies for social distancing and protective equipment, temperature checks and/or symptom screening, sanitation, and use and disinfection of high-traffic areas.
For more information, visit covid19.mt.gov.
Nebraska – UPDATED
Residents are recommended to wear cloth masks in public where they cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance. Employees should wear face coverings.
For more information, visit dhhs.ne.gov/pages/Coronavirus.aspx.
All employers must require employees who interact with the public to wear face coverings and, to the maximum extent possible, encourage customers to wear face masks.
For more information, visit www.nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/info/business.
Face coverings are required when indoors and in public or shared areas, even when others are not around. Under Universal Guidelines for Businesses in EO 40, all employees should wear a cloth face covering while at work and in public.
For more information, visit www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/businesses.htm.
New Jersey – UPDATED
All businesses must require employees and customers to remain at least 6 feet apart, require everyone to wear face masks, provide face masks for employees, provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors, routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas, conduct daily health checks, and not allow sick employees to enter the workplace. All retailers must operate at 50% capacity.
For more information, visit https://business.nj.gov/covid.
New Mexico – UPDATED
Everyone in public places is required to wear masks. Employers must provide employees with face coverings and require their use in the workplace. Retailers must use signs or floor decals to support social distancing measures and increase their cleaning and disinfecting measures.
For more information, visit www.newmexico.gov/jobs-the-economy/.
New York – UPDATED
The Governor requires all individuals over the age of two to wear a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot distance from others, and businesses can deny entry to anyone not wearing a face covering who is over the age of 2 and medically able to tolerate a covering. Essential employees must wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or the public. Employers must provide masks to employees. County specific guidelines for businesses can be found on the government website.
For more information, visit forward.ny.gov.
North Carolina – UPDATED
Face coverings are required when leaving the home and inside all public settings. It is recommended that businesses advise employees to wear cloth face coverings and provide workers with face masks. Retail businesses can operate at 50% capacity, and the 100-person cap on some businesses that were operating at 30% capacity has been lifted.
For more information, visit www.nc.gov/covid19.
Employees and the public should wear face coverings especially in settings where social distancing may be difficult to maintain. Employers should encourage use of cloth face coverings to employees whose duties require close contact with other employees and/or the public.
For more information, visit www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus.
Ohio – UPDATED
Businesses must require all employees and customers to wear facial coverings, ensure 6 feet of social distancing between everyone, and place hand sanitizers in high contact locations.
For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home.
Employers are to encourage employees to wear face masks unless they are in a separated workstation or office. Employees who come in contact with the public are encouraged to wear gloves and a mask.
For more information, visit oklahoma.gov/covid19.html.
The Governor recommends that individuals wear cloth masks when in public. Under Mask and Face Covering Guidance for Businesses, retailers must require employees to wear masks. Employers must develop and comply with policies and procedures that provide for accommodations and exemptions from the mask or face covering requirement. These businesses may require customers and visitors to wear face coverings.
For more information, visit coronavirus.oregon.gov/.
Pennsylvania – UPDATED
Businesses must increase their cleaning and disinfecting efforts, enforce face coverings for both employees and customers, and enforce social distancing measures. All businesses can operate at 75% capacity.
For more information, visit www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19.
Everyone is encouraged to wear face masks outside of their houses, maintain at least six feet of distance, and practice regular hygiene and washing their hands.
For more information, visit www.salud.gov.pr/Pages/coronavirus.aspx.
Rhode Island – UPDATED
All persons are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering at all times when inside grocery stores, pharmacies, or retail stores. Businesses must clearly mark off 6 ft. spacing in checkout lines, allow up to one customer per 100 square feet of store area, and follow CDC cleaning guidelines.
For more information, visit health.ri.gov/covid.
Reopening guidance for businesses encourages employees to wear masks or cloth face coverings, especially in settings where social distancing is not feasible. Cloth face coverings should be optional for employees with underlying respiratory illness, but if not worn, social distancing must be performed.
For more information, visit scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.
It is recommended that everyone wear a cloth face cover when they go out in public.
For more information, visit covid.sd.gov.
Businesses must strongly encourage face coverings for all employees and guests in public places where close proximity to others is anticipated, screen for COVID-19 symptoms, mitigate exposure in the workplace by implementing social distancing practices, implement cleaning and disinfection practices according to CDC recommendations, and use signage, floor markings or other cues to direct human traffic flow and manage lines.
For more information, visit www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19.html.
Texas – UPDATED
On March 2, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34 to provide that there are no COVID-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment and individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing.
For more information, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus.
Masks are required for employees of businesses when individuals are unable to socially distance. Otherwise, masks are strongly recommended. Businesses shall post signage indicating that patrons are expected to wear masks.
For more information, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.
Businesses must implement physical distancing, health and sanitation measures. Employees must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others. In the case of retail cashiers, a translucent shield of sneeze guard is acceptable in lieu of a mask. Businesses may require customers or clients to wear masks.
For more information, visit www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19.
All businesses must implement appropriate social distancing guidelines along with the proper signage, practice routine cleaning and disinfection, and require both employees and customers to wear face coverings.
For more information, visit www.virginia.gov/coronavirus.
Washington – UPDATED
On March 11, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery will be transitioning from a regional approach to a county-by-county evaluation process. The governor also announced that a new third phase of the Roadmap has been added, and effective Monday, March 22, the entire state will enter Phase 3. Find your county’s phase on their website.
For more information, visit coronavirus.wa.gov.
West Virginia – UPDATED
Individuals over the age of 9, except for those who have trouble breathing, must wear face masks in public. All businesses must post signs and ensure requirements are being followed. All previous capacity limitations for retailers have been lifted. These businesses must still continue to follow all applicable safety guidelines, including, but not limited to, mandatory face coverings and social distancing.
For more information, visit dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx.
Wisconsin – UPDATED
Individuals are required to use cloth face coverings while in public. Businesses must limit indoor capacity to 25% and require face coverings for both employees and customers.
For more information, visit wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/.
To the greatest extent feasible, stores should limit crowding and encourage social distancing for personnel and patrons, offer or enhance alternative shopping methods, including online shopping, curbside pickup, and delivery options, provide shoppers and personnel with wipes or other disinfectants to use on carts, handles, touch pads, or other frequently touched areas, increase cleaning and sanitation as much as possible, and encourage both employees and customers to wear face coverings.
For more information, visit covid19.wyo.gov.
Just like the United States, Canada’s provinces have their own regulations regarding COVID-19 and have travel restrictions from one province to another. Information for each province can be found on the Government of Canada’s website, but they encourage all residents to social distance, stay home if they’re ill, wear a face mask, and practice good hygiene.
For more information, visit www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/guidance-documents.html.