In the wake of the reopening of brick-and-mortar retailers nationwide, business owners have been forced to keep up with the state by state requirements in order to keep their storefronts open to the public. Independent Retailer has curated a list of the regulations in each state, as well as links to official government websites for more updated information, in order to make it easier for retailers to comply with their state. Retailers can also visit nrf.com/coronavirus-retail-restrictions-state for more information on the restrictions.
ChamberofCommerce.org also has a Coronavirus Small Business Issues and Solutions Guide with the top six questions businesses are asking.
Alabama – Updated
Face coverings must be worn at all times in public by people over the age of two and who can medically tolerate doing so. Business owners are expected to ensure employees and visitors wear masks inside, but are not required to provide face coverings for employees.
For more information, visit covid19.alabama.gov.
Alaska – Updated
Certain businesses previously closed may reopen subject to restrictions set forth in the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan, which can be found on the state’s website. If business cannot follow restrictions, they must remain closed pursuant to previous health mandates.
For more information, visit covid19.alaska.gov/reopen.
Arizona – Updated
Face coverings are recommended for residents when in public places where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. All businesses must develop, establish, and implement policies to limit and prevent the spread of COVID-19, including providing necessary protective equipment. Additional information can be found in the State’s industry-specific guidance.
For more information, visit azgovernor.gov/governor/reopening-guidance.
Arkansas – Updated
Face coverings are required for certain businesses reopening. See industry specific Arkansas Department of Health Directives for more specific guidance. Employees at all businesses should wear a face covering to diminish potential spread, especially when maintaining a physical distance of six feet is not possible.
For more information, visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus.
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. Once a county appears on the County Monitoring List for three consecutive days, indoor operations in the sectors listed in Section 3 of the July 13th State Health Officer Order must close.
For more information, visit covid19.ca.gov.
Amended order authorizes employers and business owners to deny admittance or service or require the removal of anyone not wearing a face covering. Employers must provide face coverings and gloves, as necessary. The counties in Colorado also have separate regulations for wearing masks.
For more information, visit covid.colorado.gov.
Each employee is required to wear a mask or face covering while in the workplace. Employers shall issue such masks or cloth face coverings to employees. All customers are required to wear cloth face masks while on the premises of any business, and businesses may issue face coverings to customers prior to entry.
For more information, visit portal.ct.gov/coronavirus.
Delaware – Updated
All individuals must wear a face covering. Businesses must provide face coverings as well as hand sanitizer for their employees. If a customer refuses to wear a mask, all businesses must deny entry to them.
For more information, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov.
District of Columbia – Updated
Individuals 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.
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. All persons providing essential services shall wear a face covering during in-person interactions with the public. Members of the public must use a face covering, unless they are under the age of two or someone who has difficulty breathing.
For more information, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov/businesses.
Georgia – Updated
All Georgia residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as practicable while outside their home or place of residence. Businesses must follow guidelines regarding social distancing and other industry specific restrictions detailed on the government’s website.
For more information, visit georgia.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-georgia/covid-19-state-services-georgia.
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. Retail stores must provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a six foot social distance at all times.
For more information, visit dph.illinois.gov/covid19/governor-pritzkers-executive-orders-and-rules.
Employees at certain businesses are required to wear face coverings such as restaurants, personal service businesses, and fitness centers, while it is only recommended for others. Employees and members of the public must maintain at least 6 feet of distance at all times, or employ other separation measures such as face coverings or use barriers.
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.
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.
Kentucky is in the reopening Phase 2. Businesses must ensure that employees, volunteers and contractors 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. Customers should be encouraged to wear masks.
For more information, visit governor.ky.gov/covid19.
All businesses shall require that any owner or employee interacting or making contact with the public shall wear a face covering.
For more information, visit coronavirus.la.gov.
Maine – Updated
Cloth face coverings must be worn at large gatherings, even those outside. Businesses accessible to the public shall post readily visible signs notifying customers of the requirement to wear cloth face coverings and may deny entry/service to any person not wearing a face covering.
For more information, visit www.maine.gov/covid19.
Retail establishments shall require staff to wear face coverings while working in areas open to the general public and areas in which interactions with other staff are likely, designate six foot spacing for people in line where any queue is expected to form, sanitize handles of carts and baskets, provide staff and customers with clean restrooms stocked with soap, and post signage at each entrance advising customers about requirement to wear face coverings.
For more information, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/business-resources.
Massachusetts – Updated
Everyone is required to wear a face covering — including in a business, outdoors, or on public transportation — if they’re unable to socially distance. Medical-grade masks are strongly discouraged.
For more information, visit www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information#regulations-&-guidance-.
Any individual leaving their place of residence must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth, and employers must require their employees to wear face masks while working. Any store that remains open for in-store sales must establish lines to regulate entry with markings for patrons to enable them to stand at least six feet apart from one another while waiting, allow customers to wait in their cars for a text message or phone call, and limit the number of people in the store (including employees) to 25% of the total occupancy limits.
For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
Minnesota – Updated
Residents are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and may be required to in certain settings. 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.
Missouri – Updated
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.
Montana – Updated
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.
Residents are recommended to wear cloth masks in public where they cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance.
For more information, visit dhhs.ne.gov/pages/Coronavirus.aspx.
Nevada – Updated
Nevada is currently in Phase 2 of reopening. 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.
New Hampshire – Updated
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
The Governor orders retailers to limit the number of customers to no more than 50% of their capacity at a time, and all customers and employees must wear some sort of face covering while in the store. (Must wear gloves when in contact with customers’ goods.) Businesses must provide face coverings and gloves for their employees. Retailers must also provide special shopping hours for high-risk individuals, put up physical barriers between customers and cashiers and baggers, and regularly sanitize areas used by their employees.
For more information, visit faq.business.nj.gov/en/collections/2198378-information-for-nj-businesses-on-the-coronavirus-outbreak.
Everyone in public places is required to wear masks. Employers must provide employees with face coverings and require their use in the workplace.
For more information, visit www.newmexico.gov/latest-updates.
New York – Updated
The Governor requires all individuals over the age of two to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot distance from others. Business operators are encouraged to deny entry (or to remove from the premises) 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.
For more information, visit www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/businesses/businesses-and-nonprofits.page.
Everyone is strongly advised to wear a cloth face covering 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.
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 ndresponse.gov.
Ohio – Updated
Governor and Lt. Governor urged Ohioans to begin wearing cloth masks while in public in accordance with recommendations from the CDC. Businesses must require all employees to wear facial coverings (with limited exceptions for health, safety, working alone, or functional/practical reasons not to) — and must allow customers to do so.
For more information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home.
Oklahoma – Updated
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 coronavirus.health.ok.gov/resources-recommendations.
Oregon – Updated
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 govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19.
Retailers must provide masks for employees to wear during their time at work and make it a mandatory requirement to wear masks while on the work site, except during breaks. Retailers must require all customers to wear masks while on the premises and deny entry to those not wearing masks.
For more information, visit www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19.
Everyone is required to wear a mask or cloth face covering at all times when inside grocery stores, pharmacies, or retail stores.
For more information, visit health.ri.gov/covid.
South Carolina – Updated
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.
Tennessee – Updated
Individuals are urged to wear face coverings in public places.
For more information, visit www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19.html.
Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings, but no jurisdiction can impose a civil or criminal penalty for failure to wear a face covering. Employers should consider having all employees and contractors wear cloth face coverings.
For more information, visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus.
Masks are required for employees of businesses when individuals are unable to socially distance, and for individuals in healthcare settings. Otherwise, masks are strongly recommended. Under Phased Guidelines 4.5, employers should design workplaces to maintain six feet of distance.
For more information, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.
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.
Patrons are required to wear face coverings inside retail establishments. All employees of essential retail businesses must wear a face covering when working in customer facing areas.
For more information, visit www.virginia.gov/coronavirus.
Washington – Updated
The Governor mandates that, in addition to other requirements detailed in the Safe Start Washington Phased Reopening Plan, when on the job, all employees must wear a facial covering except when working alone or when the job has no in-person interaction. Employers must also provide cloth facial coverings to employees, unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection. Pursuant to industry-specific reopening guidance, employers must identify and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate or required to employees for the activity being performed.
For more information, visit coronavirus.wa.gov.
The Governor’s reopening plan encourages individuals to continue wearing face coverings in public where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
For more information, visit dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx.
Individuals are strongly advised to use cloth face coverings while in public, and particularly when using mass transit. Workers who have frequent, close contact with customers or other workers may need to wear some combination of a face mask, a face shield and/or goggles.
For more information, visit www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm.
Under reopening order, employees are required to wear face coverings when they may come within six feet of other employees or customers.
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.
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.