Walmart implementing new shopping guidelines amid coronavirus pandemic

Walmart is joining other retailers in limiting the number of people permitted in its stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting on Saturday, April 4, all Walmart stores will begin monitoring the number of people allowed inside the store.

Walmart representatives released the following statement describing the changes:

“To promote health, safety and consistency for our associates and customers in this environment, we’re taking some further steps for our U.S. stores:

Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity. To manage this restriction, the associates at a store will mark a queue at a single-entry door (in most cases the Grocery entrance) and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one by one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store especially before it opens in the morning. Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis. We’ll also institute one-way movement through our aisles next week in a number of our stores, using floor markers and direction from associates. We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop. We’ll continue to put signage inside our stores to remind customers of the need to maintain social distancing especially in lines. And once customers check out, they will be directed to exit through a different door than they entered, which should help lessen the instances of people closely passing each other. We always want people to feel welcome at Walmart, and we know that in ordinary times a store is a gathering place for members of a community to connect and socialize. We look forward to the time when that is again the case; however, we now want to prioritize health and safety by encouraging customers to do their shopping at a distance from others, then head home.”

Outside the doors of Walmart, carts with yellow tape on them lined the areas where the entrance will be starting Saturday.

Associates will allow five customers inside per 1,000 square feet of store space. That’s about 20 percent of a store’s usual capacity.

Once that capacity has been reached, customers will be asked to stand in queue lines outside of the store at a social distance of six feet apart. Many stores have already marked the sidewalks with signage. As one customer exits the store, associates will allow one more customer inside.

All aisles will be marked as one-way thoroughfares to limit contact between customers.