BOSTON (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Mass. Department of Public Health has issued a new order, aimed at supporting grocery stores, pharmacies, and their employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

The order, issued Wednesday, directs grocery stores and pharmacies to: 

  • Provide at least one hour per day of shopping for adults over 60-years-old.
  • Offer sanitation options, such as hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, as available, to clean shopping carts and points of frequent contact.
  • Appropriate social distancing policies, including a marked “Social Distancing Line,” beginning six feet away from all checkout counters.
  • Close any self-serve food stations.
  • Instruct store employees who are ill to stay home, and for stores to accommodate employees who fall in the high-risk category with alternative assignments to limit exposure.

In addition, grocery stores need to be closed for a sufficient time each night to allow the store to be properly restocked and sanitized.

With regards to bags:

  • Grocery store and pharmacy employees shall not perform bagging of retail products if reusable checkout bags are used
  • Customers at grocery stores and pharmacies shall not use reusable checkout bags until further notice.
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies, food banks and emergency food programs, including those currently subject to municipal ordinances or regulations banning single-use plastic bags, may choose to use recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags, or single-use plastic bags.
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies may not assess a charge for recyclable paper bags, compostable plastic bags or single-use plastic bags.

You can CLICK HERE to read the full order.

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