• By Gary Styers
  • Posted Friday, April 10, 2020

State order on customer limit goes into effect April 13 at 5 p.m.

On April 13, 2020 at 5:00 PM, Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 131 directing all retail establishments to limit the number of customers within their establishment will take effect. The guidance for this order is for two options:

20% of the stated fire capacity; or
Five (5) customers for every one thousand (1,000) square feet of the retail locations total square footage, including the non-customers facing portions.

For the purposes of this Executive Order, “retail establishments” include any business in which customers enter to purchase goods or services, including but not limited to grocery stores, convenience stores, large-format retail stores, pharmacies, banks, ABC stores, hardware stores, and vehicle dealerships. “Retail establishments” also includes retail establishments operated by the State, its political subdivisions, or agencies thereof.

In many cases for these establishments, the stated fire capacity may not be posted or not on site for merchants to use. Furthermore, Fire Inspectors will not be able to visit each establishment prior to the order’s effective date and time to determine a fire capacity.

So to make this process simple we recommend in these instances where the fire capacity is not listed, that merchants use Option 2 or a method of 200 square feet per occupant.

Thank you for your cooperation during this time and your efforts to provide a safe atmosphere for patrons to visit your establishment.

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