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. So far, over 144 million Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The more residents that receive their vaccine, the closer we can get back to normal.
Independent Retailer has all of the most recent COVID-19 state regulation changes right here.
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.
Arizona – UPDATE
It is recommended that businesses maintain physical distancing inside their buildings, operate with reduced occupancy, implement comprehensive sanitation protocols, screen employees prior to their shift, and consider offering face coverings for employees and customers to wear.
For more information, visit azgovernor.gov/governor/reopening-guidance.
Arkansas – UPDATED
Retail businesses must 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
California has moved Beyond the Blueprint and has safely, fully reopened the economy — no more physical distancing, no more capacity limits on businesses, no more county tiers, and relaxed mask guidance.
For more information, visit covid19.ca.gov.
Colorado – UPDATED
All retailers must implement face coverings for both employees and customers, maintain 6 feet of social distancing, and have cleaning and disinfecting measures as advised by the CDC.
For more information, visit covid.colorado.gov.
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
Individuals aged Kindergarten and up are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering while visiting any indoor business or space open to the public. The total number of guests permitted indoors 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
Following the CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated residents no longer need to wear masks in any setting, except for certain circumstances. Indoor capacity limitations have also been lifted.
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.
Georgia – UPDATED
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. All restrictions are lifted for businesses.
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.
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
Phase 5 executive order strongly encourages those who are not fully vaccinated to continue social distancing when in public and to wear face coverings. Residents who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear face coverings, except under certain circumstances.
For more information, visit dph.illinois.gov/covid19/governor-pritzkers-executive-orders-and-rules.
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.
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.
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.
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
Governor Janet Mills announced that Maine’s State of Civil Emergency ended June 30, 2021. However, Maine CDC will continue to recommend that unvaccinated people — including those under 12 who are not yet eligible for a COVID vaccine — wear face coverings 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, and strongly recommends that all unvaccinated residents continue to wear face coverings. All indoor capacity limitations have been lifted.
For more information, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/business-resources.
Massachusetts – UPDATED
The state is now fully open and has lifted COVID-19 restrictions, although it is still recommended that unvaccinated residents wear face masks.
For more information, visit www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information#regulations-&-guidance-.
Michigan – UPDATED
There is no longer a statewide requirement to wear a face mask in most settings, except for large indoor gatherings. It is recommended that individuals who are not fully vaccinated wear masks in crowded outdoor settings and events.
For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
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.
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.
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
Effective May 8, 2021, the Universal Best Practices replaces all existing “Safer at Home 2.0” business operations guidance in place from March 2020. It is recommended that businesses encourage face masks, social distancing, and frequently cleaning high touch surfaces.
For more information, visit www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/businesses.htm.
New Jersey – UPDATED
Businesses open to the public can open at full capacity indoors and outdoors, but they still must clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often. All vaccinated residents no longer need to wear masks while in public spaces, and retailers are allowed to enforce stricter mask policies.
For more information, visit https://business.nj.gov/covid.
New Mexico – UPDATED
All unvaccinated residents are required to wear face coverings while in public, both indoors and outdoors. Businesses should continue to increase their cleaning and disinfecting methods.
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, cleaning and disinfection protocols, and businesses must operate at no more than 50% capacity. 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.
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.
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
Once Oregon reaches the 70% vaccination threshold the state will not require masks and face coverings in almost all settings, with some exceptions following federal guidance, including airports, public transit, and health care settings.
For more information, visit coronavirus.oregon.gov/.
Pennsylvania – UPDATED
All COVID-19 restrictions for businesses have been lifted, including the mask mandate. 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
The state is now following CDC guidelines in regards to face masks, and retailers may still require them to be worn while inside their store. 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.
South Carolina – UPDATED
Fully vaccinated residents no longer need to wear face masks while in public, except when required by a business. Retailers should still follow social distancing guidelines and regularly clean frequently touched surfaces.
For more information, visit scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.
South Dakota – UPDATED
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.
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 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
As of June 14, there are no COVID-19 restrictions or requirements for businesses to follow. Businesses can refer to the Vermont Occupational and Safety and Health Administration’s (VOSHA) for recommendations related to COVID-19.
For more information, visit www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19.
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
Fully vaccinated residents no longer need to wear a face covering while in public, except for certain situations.
For more information, visit coronavirus.wa.gov.
West Virginia – UPDATED
Fully vaccinated residents no longer need to wear face coverings, except in certain situations. All businesses must post signs and ensure requirements are being followed. All previous capacity limitations for retail stores have been lifted. These businesses must still continue to follow all applicable safety guidelines, including, but not limited to, social distancing.
For more information, visit dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx.
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.
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.