Raimondo limits number of people allowed in grocery and retail stores

Governor Gina Raimondo is putting a cap on the number of people allowed in grocery and retail stores at one time to better comply with social distancing.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Gina Raimondo is putting a cap on the number of people allowed in grocery and retail stores at one time to better comply with social distancing.

“We are getting way too many reports of big box retail operations that have too many cars in the parking lot, too many people in the store, and too many people in close proximity in the store,” said Raimondo at Wednesday’s afternoon press briefing.

To better regulate crowds, all retailers and grocers must comply with the following:

  • 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
  • Offer exclusive hours for those in high-risk populations, including seniors, where stores will restrict entrance to maintain 10% of fire capacity

The governor is encouraging larger grocery stores and retailers to offer pickup and/or delivery options. The new capacity limit does not include employees.

“The only way I can keep these stores open is if we all try a little harder to avoid being closer to one another,” said Raimondo.

She said police will be conducting spot checks to make sure stores are following the new guidelines.

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island, Your Health