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COVID-19 Updates for the U.S. Retail and Real Estate Industry

With numerous 'states of emergency' being declared across the country – providing governors and their staff flexibility to react to the constantly changing conditions resulting from COVID-19 – this page summarizes the actions taken by states and localities.

As this situation is rapidly evolving, we encourage you to visit the web pages of the state government that you are researching or to contact your governors’ offices or local government agencies


May 5: Gov. Ivey announced that Alabama’s COVID-19 public health order will end May 31, and the state of emergency will end July 6.


May 5: Gov. Newsom announced CDPH updated its face coverings guidance to align with the latest CDC guidance. Face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events when physical distancing is not possible. For small outdoor gatherings, fully vaccinated persons are not required to wear face coverings while unvaccinated persons do. Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings are required indoors with a few exceptions.


April 8: Gov. Polis extended the statewide facemask mandate until May 2. The Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released an amended public health order that provides updates to the COVID-19 dial framework. Some key changes include: clarifying that 6 feet distancing from non-household members remains required in Level Green; Specifying that only unseated, rather than seated, Indoor Events are subject to the 50% capacity limit not to exceed 500 people in Level Green; authorizing counties in Level Green to determine masks requirements as authorized in Executive Order D 2021 079; authorizing seated Indoor Events in Level Green to operate at 100% capacity with 6 feet distancing, allowing seating of up to 10 people together including non-household members, and requiring organizers or operators of any such events that exceed 500 people to consult with CDPHE; updating to allow seated Indoor Events in Level Blue to seat up to 10 people together including non-household members, and require organizers or operators of any such events that exceed 500 people to consult with CDPHE; clarifying that Bars in Level Blue may operate and are not required to sell or provide food; removing the prohibition on dance floors and games in Restaurants and Bars. A summary of the changes is located here.


April 21: Gov. Lamont announced that over the coming weeks he plans to further ease some of the restrictions on certain sectors that were put into effect at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective May 1, 2021: Bars that do not serve food can open for service on an outdoor-only basis. These establishments will still be prohibited from serving only alcohol indoors. The 8-person per table limit will be lifted for outdoors only. This limit will remain in effect for indoor service. The curfew for restaurants, entertainment venues, recreation venues, and theaters will be moved back an hour to midnight. Effective May 19, 2021: Contingent upon sufficiently low rates of infections and increasing vaccination rates, all remaining business restrictions will be lifted. The Department of Public Health will issue recommendations for indoor and other large outdoor events, such as concerts, as well as clarify where masking will continue after May 19.


May 5: Gov. Carney announced major upcoming changes to Delaware’s COVID-19 restrictions. Effective Friday, May 21:  All capacity restrictions inside restaurants, retail, other business establishments will be lifted. Facilities will be able to use as much capacity as social distancing requirements will allow.  Masks will still be required indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing requirements will move from 6 feet to 3 feet.  Customers must continue to remain seated indoors and outdoors at bars and restaurants unless a plan for dance floors and other areas is approved by DPH, and distancing of at least 3 feet should be maintained.

The changes will be formalized in an upcoming modification to Governor Carney’s COVID-19 emergency order.

District of Columbia

April 27: Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that effective May 1, non-essential retailers may operate at 50% capacity, or 250 people, whichever is less. The number of people who can sit together at a restaurant table will be increased to 10 and if customers are sitting outside, alcohol sales can be made without a requirement to purchase food. Movie theaters, concert venues, and multi-purpose facilities may operate at 25% capacity, up to 500 people. Indoor fitness classes may increase to 25 people and pools may open with safety protocols.


May 5: Gov. DeSantis issued an executive order invalidating all remaining local emergency orders based on the COVID-19 emergency effective July 1.


May 5: Gov. Kemp eliminated all specific requirements for gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, body art studios, estheticians, hairstylists, and massage therapists.


April 9: Gov. Ige issued an emergency proclamation for COVID-19 extends the eviction moratorium, prohibiting evictions of tenants for failure to pay all or a portion of the rent, maintenance fees, utility charges, taxes or other required fees for the rental unit. In addition, the proclamation includes mention of an anticipated new exception for vaccinated travelers that will become effective only upon approval by the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.


April 21: Illinois is currently following a metrics-based path for reopening.


April 1: Gov. Holcomb signed Executive Order 21-09 to adjust the statewide face covering mandate to be a mask advisory beginning April 6. This order also lifts the gatherings tiered system April 6. It permits local health departments to issue mitigation measures.


April 27: Iowa is currently under no restrictions.


March31: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has amended its travel quarantine list to add several states and countries – Delaware, Michigan, Rhode Island and the countries of Hungary and Jordan. One country is removed from the previous list, Mayotte. The travel quarantine period is seven days with a negative test result or 10 days without testing, with release from quarantine on Day 8 and Day 11, respectively. Further information on quarantine periods can be found on KDHE’s website. For those traveling internationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is requiring testing within three days of flights into the U.S. For further information on this and other requirements, visit their website.


April 27: Gov. Beshear announced the statewide mask mandate will no longer be in effect when Kentuckians are outside at events or venues with 1,000 people or fewer.


April 29: Gov. Edwards announced that some mitigation measures will be eased starting April 28. Additionally, the statewide mask mandate will be lifted.


April 27: Gov.Mills has announced that face coverings in outdoor public settings are no longer required, following the delivery of updated public health guidance from the U.S. CDC. 


April 29: Gov. Hogan announced standing service may resume outdoors at bars and restaurants and all restrictions related to outdoor dining capacity and distancing will be lifted. Seated service and physical distancing requirements will remain in place indoors at bars and restaurants.


April 29: Gov. Baker announced that effective April 30, the Face Coverings Order will be relaxed for some outdoor settings.  Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries, will be subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90-minute limit and no dance floors, effective May 29.  Effective August 1, subject to public health and vaccination data, all industry restrictions will be lifted and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries.


April 21: The Department of Health and Human Services extended its epidemic order until May 24. The extension includes the expansion of mask requirements to children ages 2 to 4 to further protect the state's residents. All other restrictions and mitigations remain the same. The infographic on requirements is located here.


March 15: Gov. Walz announced that on March 15 Minnesotans can begin safely gathering with more friends and loved ones, supporting Minnesota’s small businesses, and visiting large venues. They include: Increasing gatherings limits to 50 people outdoors or 15 people for indoor gatherings, both without household limits. Bars and restaurants: Increasing allowable occupancy to 75%, up from 50%, with a limit of 250 people. The limits apply separately indoors and outdoors. Bar seating increases to parties of 4. Salons/barbers: Removing the occupancy limit, but social distancing required. Gyms/fitness centers/pools: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%. Outdoor classes can increase to 50 people. Entertainment venues: Increasing allowable occupancy to 50%, up from 25%, both indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 250. As more Minnesotans are vaccinated, work from home will no longer be required – but it will continue to be strongly recommended – beginning April 15. All employers should continue to accommodate employees who wish to work from home.


March 3: Gov. Reeves announced that the statewide mask mandate will be allowed to expire. Businesses across all sectors will also be allowed to operate at full capacity without restrictions.


April 27: The latest information is available here.


Feb. 16: Gov. Gianforte announced a directive that rescinds and replaces all prior directives implementing Executive Order 2-2021, which the governor issued on January 13, 2021. The new directive allows the statewide mask mandate to expire. Local jurisdictions may still choose to implement their own mask requirements. Governor Gianforte emphasized how providing incentives and encouraging personal responsibility are more effective than imposing impractical, unenforceable government mandates.


April 27: Nebraska is currently in the Green Zone phase.


May 5: Gov. Sisolak signed Emergency Directive 045, which aligns Nevada’s outdoor face-covering mandate with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors in public unless they are in a crowd.

New Hampshire

April 16: Gov. Sununu allowed the statewide facemask mandate to expire. Certain business sectors must still require employees that have public interactions to wear facemasks at the workplace, such as food establishments.

New Jersey

May 5: Gov. Murphy announced effective May 19, the 50% capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings/businesses currently governed by the percentage-based cap will be lifted. Restaurants will be allowed to operate at whatever capacity allows them to continue to ensure a minimum six-foot distance between groups. Indoor capacity for large venues (1,000 or more fixed seats) can increase to 30% – with six feet of distance between ticketed groups.

New Mexico

April 29: Gov. Lujan Grisham announced an important state target: When 60 percent of eligible New Mexicans have been fully vaccinated, which state modeling projects may occur as early as the end of June, the state will graduate out of the color-coded county risk system and remove most pandemic-related restrictions on commercial activities.

New York

May 5: Gov. Cuomo announced effective May 7, indoor dining in NYC will expand to 75%. Hair salons, barbershops and other personal care services will also expand to 75% capacity on May 7. He also announced that business capacity limits will be replaced with social distancing measures on May 19. 

North Carolina

April 29: Gov. Cooper announced masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors.

North Dakota 

April 27: Information about the ND Smart Restart is available here.


April 14: Gov. DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Amended Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating to clarify that six feet of separation between tables at restaurants, drinking establishments and banquet facilities must be maintained unless there is a physical barrier between them.


May 4: Gov. Stitt announced he is withdrawing Oklahoma's COVID-19 State of Emergency.


April 27: Guidance for residents and businesses is available here.


May 5: Gov. Wolf announced all COVID-19 restrictions - except an order to wear a mask while in public - will be lifted on May 31 at 12:01 AM. The current order requiring Pennsylvanians to wear masks will be lifted when 70% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated. Face coverings are required to be worn indoors and outdoors.

Rhode Island

May 5: Gov. McKee announced gyms, personal care services, offices, and retailers may operate at 80% capacity effective May 7. Indoor dining capacity will also be allowed to increase to 80% effective May 7.

South Carolina

March 1: Gov. McMaster announced that COVID-19 safety measures related to the sale of alcohol and mass gatherings are terminated effective March 1. Restaurants may resume normal alcohol sales as licensed by the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Additionally, the South Carolina Department of Commerce approval for events involving more than 250 people will no longer be required.

South Dakota

Dec. 18: Gov. Noem announced up to $345 million in additional grants for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jan. 19: Gov. Lee tweeted on January 19 that he will allow the mass gatherings limit to expire.


March 3: Gov. Abbott announced that effective March 10 most mitigation measures and restrictions will be lifted statewide, including the mask mandate. Businesses across all sectors will be allowed to operate at full capacity with no restrictions. If COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a County Judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, County Judges may not impose jail time for not following COVID-19 orders nor may any penalties be imposed for failing to wear a face mask. If restrictions are imposed at a County level, those restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any type of entity.


Dec. 12: The Utah Department of Health guidance remains in effect.  


May 5: Gov. Scott announced bars must cease operations at 10 PM effective through May 15.


April 26: Gov. Northam announced that gathering limits will increase beginning May 15. He also amended an order to ease mitigation measures on specific sectors. The order permits for seating at bar areas provided at least 6 feet of space is between parties.


May 5: Gov. Inslee announced outdoor facilities may add vaccinated sections until their total capacity is 50% maximum or 22,000 people, whichever is lower, inclusive of both vaccinated and unvaccinated sections. Outdoor unvaccinated spectators cannot exceed 9,000 people. Indoor facilities may add vaccinated sections until their total capacity is 50% maximum, or a maximum of 2,000 people, whichever is lower, inclusive of both vaccinated and unvaccinated sections.

West Virginia 

Feb. 23: Gov. Justice signed Executive Order 6-21, increasing the capacity limit for all restaurants and bars to 75%. This change applies only if social distancing can be maintained between groups that arrive and sit together. Bars may only increase capacity to the extent that they have physical seating for every patron. No standing room for people to congregate will be allowed. This change will be effective February 19. These businesses must still continue to follow all applicable safety guidelines, including, but not limited to, mandatory face coverings and social distancing. It also raises the social gathering limit from 25 people to 75 people. This limitation applies only to any gathering of people for purely social purposes. The limitation does not apply to any activity, business, or entity that has been deemed essential, such as religious services, weddings, or group meetings, conferences, or other special events held for essential businesses and operations. Those partaking in such purely social gatherings must continue to social distance, wear face coverings, and follow all other applicable safety guidelines. At the direction of Governor Justice, the DHHR has amended its rules on capacity limitations for small businesses, retail stores, and grocery stores. For small businesses and retail stores, capacity will be permitted to increase from 2 people per 1,000 square feet to 4 people per 1,000 square feet. For grocery stores, capacity will be permitted to increase from 3 people per 1,000 square feet to 6 people per 1,000 square feet. These businesses must still continue to follow all applicable safety guidelines, including, but not limited to, mandatory face coverings and social distancing.


April 27: The latest guidance on statewide measures is available here.


March 12: Gov. Gordon announced that the state will remove its statewide mask requirement and allow bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms to resume normal operations on March 16. The Governor continues to encourage Wyomingites to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and to follow the best practices adopted by any business they visit to slow the spread of the virus.