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Masks Are Now Required at Grocery Stores in Philly

Businesses can stop people without masks from coming inside

Coronavirus - Dresden Photo by Robert Michael/picture alliance via Getty Images

Effective immediately, people are required to wear masks when going into any store in Pennsylvania, including in Philly. The statewide order was signed last week and became enforceable on Sunday, April 19, at 8 p.m., and mandates that store employees must wear masks as well.

Secretary of Health Rachel Levine signed the order designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. All of Pennsylvania is also still under a stay at home order, which was extended to May 8 and means try not to leave the house, unless it’s necessary “to access or provide life sustaining business, emergency or government services.”

Stores are required to deny entry to people who show up without masks, with some exceptions. If a business sells food, medicine, or medical supplies, it can bar someone without a mask from entering but it has to offer another option for the transaction. Exceptions for who has to wear masks include children aged two and under and people who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask.

Additionally, the order spells out that businesses with multiple checkout lines can only use, at most, every other cash register and, every hour, must switch to the alternate registers and clean the ones that were used. Carts and baskets have to be wiped down between customers, and businesses are urged to consider staggering shifts and adjusting hours where possible.

Businesses are told, where feasible, to move to online ordering or conduct business by appointment; otherwise they are told to “limit occupancy to no greater than 50% of the number stated on the applicable certificate of occupancy at any given time.”

If the business was exposed to someone who has or probably has COVID-19, going forward employees must get their temperatures taken before they start work. A fever of 100.4 or higher means go home.

The PA Department of Health lays out how to make a mask here.