BOSTON (WHDH) - All Massachusetts grocery stores have been ordered to limit capacity to 40 percent until further notice in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Each Grocery store shall limit occupancy to 40 percent of its maximum permitted occupancy level as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record-holders in order to provide for in-store social distancing while preserving sufficient access for the public to supplies of food and necessities,” an order signed my Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel stated.

Stores with a maximum occupancy of 25 people or less are exempt from the order.

Grocery staff will be required to monitor the number of customers who are entering and exiting stores. The maximum occupant count includes customers and employees.

If lines form outside grocery stores, workers will monitor the line to ensure customers
are maintaining a distance of at least six feet apart. Law enforcement will be notified if issues arise.

Customers are being urged to take advantage of online delivery or curbside pickup if stores offer those options.

Grocery stores have been deemed essential during the coronavirus emergency.

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