As the COVID vaccines continue to make their way throughout the U.S., guidelines including mandatory facial coverings and indoor capacity limits are lightening up. If things keep going this way and we do not have another outbreak, retailers can soon expect the normal shopping patterns. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances. This is a huge step in making our way towards the normal that we knew before the pandemic.
Independent Retailer has all of the most recent COVID-19 state regulation changes right here.
Alabama – UPDATED
Governor Kay Ivey issued her twenty-sixth supplemental emergency proclamation transitioning the state from an amended Safer at Home Order to a new Safer Apart Order, the third phase of COVID-19 pandemic health orders. Masks will no longer be mandated statewide, but individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people. This order will end Monday, May 31, 2021, and the state of emergency will end Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
For more information, visit covid19.alabama.gov.
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
Arkansas is following the CDC guidelines where fully vaccinated residents no longer have to wear a mask while in public. Retail businesses must still 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. California is looking to fully reopen by June 15, and all industries across the state can return to usual operations with common-sense risk reduction measures such as masking and vaccinations.
For more information, visit covid19.ca.gov.
Colorado – UPDATED
Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear face masks in most public settings. All retailers must still maintain 6 feet of social distancing and have cleaning and disinfecting measures as advised by the CDC.
For more information, visit covid.colorado.gov.
Connecticut – UPDATED
Governor Lamont has eliminated most of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions for every sector and is following the CDC’s guidelines for mask use, where all vaccinated residents no longer have to wear masks both indoors and outdoors.
For more information, visit portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.
Delaware – UPDATED
Governor John Carney eliminated social distancing requirements and removed Delaware’s mask mandate. Delawareans, visitors, and businesses should follow social distancing and masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals issued last week by the CDC. Unvaccinated Delawareans should continue to wear masks to reduce their risk of contracting and spreading 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. Non-essential retail establishments may increase capacity from 25% to 50% (including staff) of their rated capacity.
For more information, visit coronavirus.dc.gov.
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.
A new executive order from Governor Brian P. Kemp lifted all social distancing protocols for businesses. Georgians are strongly encouraged to wear masks 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.
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.
Idaho – UPDATED
Businesses should limit the number of patrons in the store at one time, directing the flow of traffic by using floor markings, encouraging employees and customers to wear face coverings, and enhance cleaning and disinfecting measures.
For more information, visit visit coronavirus.idaho.gov.
Illinois – UPDATED
Aligning with CDC guidelines, all individuals who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear face masks in most public settings. Those who are not fully vaccinated are still required to wear face coverings in public as well as practice social distancing.
For more information, visit dph.illinois.gov/covid19/governor-pritzkers-executive-orders-and-rules.
Indiana – UPDATED
Face coverings are recommended for all residents. Businesses that are open to the public must follow county metric guidelines, including maintaining six feet of social distancing. See county specific guidelines on the state government website for indoor maximum capacity information.
For more information, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov.
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.
Kansas – UPDATED
Businesses should monitor employees’ temperatures and symptoms regularly, issue or approve face coverings, be mindful of spaces where 6 feet of distance can’t be maintained, and disinfect workspaces at the beginning and end of each shift/work day.
For more information, visit covid.ks.gov.
Kentucky – UPDATED
Any resident who has received the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior is not required to wear a face covering in any setting. Businesses must ensure social distancing in their stores, require employees to wear face coverings, clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces, and conduct daily temperature and health checks with employees.
For more information, visit governor.ky.gov/covid19.
Louisiana – UPDATED
Residents who are fully vaccinated no longer have to wear masks indoors except in certain situations. Businesses may decide whether to continue requiring patrons to wear masks.
For more information, visit coronavirus.la.gov.
Maine – UPDATED
The Mills Administration has lifted all capacity limits and requirements to physically distance in all public outdoor settings as well as indoor venues. Fully vaccinated residents do not have to wear face coverings in indoor settings, and it is recommended for those who are not fully vaccinated to still wear face coverings while indoors.
For more information, visit www.maine.gov/covid19.
Maryland – UPDATED
The state has removed its statewide mask mandate, aligning with the new CDC guidance. The Maryland Department of Health has issued a public health advisory strongly recommending that all non-vaccinated individuals over the age of 2 years continue to wear face coverings in all indoor settings and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Private businesses and workplaces are free to put in place their own policies or guidance.
For more information, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/business-resources.
Massachusetts – UPDATED
All COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted for the state, including the face covering mandate. Effective May 29, all industries will be permitted to open, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. All industries will be encouraged to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols.
For more information, visit www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information#regulations-&-guidance-.
Michigan – UPDATED
Fully vaccinated residents no longer need to wear face coverings while indoors. Non-vaccinated patrons must wear face masks while indoors. Employers must require face coverings to be worn when employees cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace. Retailers can operate at no more than 50% of their indoor capacity.
For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
Minnesota – UPDATED
Governor Tim Walz announced the end of Minnesota’s statewide mask requirement, aligning Minnesota with new CDC guidance. Minnesotans who are not fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors. Businesses may still put in place face covering requirements and must limit on-premises capacity to 50 people.
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.
Missouri – UPDATED
State guidelines for reopening include recommendations that employers implement basic infection prevention measures like use of protective equipment.
For more information, visit health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/.
The phased approach to reopening Montana is no longer in force. Residents are encouraged 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
Businesses should encourage face masks to be worn at all times, maintain 6 feet of social distancing between everyone in the store and queue lines should be marked to ensure 6 feet between each customer, and increase cleaning and sanitation for frequently touched surfaces. Retailers can now operate at 100% indoor capacity.
For more information, visit dhhs.ne.gov/pages/Coronavirus.aspx.
Nevada – UPDATED
Retail businesses are limited to 50% indoor maximum capacity, must establish 6 feet of social distancing between everyone in the store, require both employees and customers to wear face masks, and increase cleaning and sanitation protocols on all frequently touched surfaces.
For more information, visit www.nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/info/business.
New Hampshire – UPDATED
Face coverings are recommended when indoors and in public or shared areas. Employers should follow CDC guidance for cleaning the store, as well as ensure 6 feet of social distancing between everyone in the store.
For more information, visit www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/businesses.htm.
New Jersey – UPDATED
The state no longer requires face coverings or social distancing measures in most indoor public spaces. Businesses may continue to require face coverings for employees, customers, and guests. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to follow CDC guidance and wear masks and social distance in indoor public spaces.
For more information, visit https://business.nj.gov/covid.
New Mexico – UPDATED
Retailers must adhere to maximum occupancy limits per the State’s Public Health Order, utilize signs or floor decals to support 6-foot social distancing, require customers to wear face masks, and increase their cleaning and sanitization efforts on frequently touched surfaces.
For more information, visit cv.nmhealth.org.
New York – UPDATED
Most businesses’ indoor capacities have been removed, but industry-specific requirements will remain in effect for a longer period of time, including health screening, contact information for tracing, building system standards, hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection protocols. All individuals over the age of two must wear a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot distance from others. Essential employees must wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or the public. Employers must provide masks to employees.
For more information, visit forward.ny.gov.
North Carolina – UPDATED
The state has removed its indoor mask mandate for most settings as well as all social distancing requirements. Everyone, including people who are fully vaccinated will still be required to wear a mask in certain settings such as public transportation.
For more information, visit www.nc.gov/covid19.
North Dakota – UPDATED
Fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities without wearing a mask indoors and outdoors. Businesses can choose to require masks for indoor use, and must continue to enforce social distancing and increased cleaning and disinfecting measures.
For more information, visit www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus.
Ohio – UPDATED
Those who have been vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, while those who have not been vaccinated should still wear a mask and socially distance.
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.
Oregon – UPDATED
Under Mask and Face Covering Guidance for Businesses, retailers must require employees to wear masks and may require customers to wear face coverings, continue to keep everyone socially distanced, and regularly clean and sanitize commonly touched surfaces. Businesses must provide face masks to employees at no cost.
For more information, visit coronavirus.oregon.gov/.
Pennsylvania – UPDATED
All COVID-19 restrictions for businesses have been lifted. The masking order will remain in place until 70% of Pennsylvania adults are fully vaccinated, and those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a mask during certain activities. Businesses must continue to enforce social distancing and clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
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 vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear face masks in most public situations. Unvaccinated residents must still wear a face mask within three feet of others.
For more information, visit health.ri.gov/covid.
South Carolina – UPDATED
Fully vaccinated residents no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Unvaccinated people need to continue to wear masks, physically distance and follow all other disease prevention methods.
For more information, visit scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.
South Dakota – UPDATED
Fully vaccinated residents can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by local rules and regulations, including businesses.
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.
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.
Utah – UPDATED
Masks are recommended for crowded, indoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible. Businesses may post signage listing COVID-19 symptoms and face mask or physical distancing requirements.
For more information, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.
Vermont – UPDATED
Businesses must implement physical distancing, health and sanitation measures. Only unvaccinated individuals must wear face masks when indoors. Businesses may require customers or clients to wear masks.
For more information, visit www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19.
Virginia – UPDATED
Governor Ralph Northam lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with new guidance from the CDC, as well as eased all social distancing and capacity restrictions for businesses.
For more information, visit www.virginia.gov/coronavirus.
Washington – UPDATED
Retail stores can now operate at 50% capacity until June 30, in which the state is planning for a full reopening date.
For more information, visit coronavirus.wa.gov.
West Virginia – UPDATED
With the State now open, and all businesses and activities allowed, guidance documents particular to various types of businesses and other entities are no longer required. Face masks are still required for everyone while indoors and businesses should still execute enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures.
For more information, visit dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx.
Wisconsin – UPDATED
Wisconsin is following CDC guidelines in which fully vaccinated residents can resume activities they did before the pandemic, including participating in indoor and outdoor activities, without wearing a mask or physically distancing. Mask wearing continues to be an important COVID-19 mitigation strategy in public transportation. Businesses must limit indoor capacity to 25%.
For more information, visit www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm.
Wyoming – UPDATED
All restrictions and requirements for businesses have been lifted, but face masks are still recommended when in public places and where social distancing cannot be maintained.
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.