Walmart will begin limiting the number of customers entering stores to help curb coronavirus spread

Walmart will begin limiting the number of customers entering stores to help curb coronavirus spread

  • Updated

A woman pulls groceries from a cart to her vehicle outside of a Walmart store, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Pearl, Miss.

Concerned by some customers’ behavior during the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart is limiting the number of people who can enter its stores at one time.

Starting Saturday, the national retailer will allow no more than five customers for every 1,000 square feet of each store at any given time — roughly 20% percent of a location’s capacity, according to a news release.

Customers will be directed to a line where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted, the company said. When a store reaches 20% capacity, customers will be allowed in on a one-in-one-out basis.

“While many of our customers have been following the advice of the medical community regarding social distancing and safety, we have been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people,” Walmart said in the news release. “We want to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop, allow for space with other customers while shopping, and practice social distancing while waiting in lines.”

In an effort to lessen instances of customers closely passing each other, a number of stores will put in place one-way movement through aisles next week and customers will be directed to exit through a different door than where they entered.

The new restrictions come days after the company announced it would begin conducting temperature checks on employees and making gloves and masks available to employees who want them.

Walmart says it has also expanded paid-leave policies, is closing stores overnight for cleaning and restocking, and is installing sneeze guards and social-distance markers in stores. The changes are necessary to promote health, safety and consistency for employees and customers, Walmart said.

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