‘Safe Stores’ executive order to increase social distancing guidelines now in effect

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The coronavirus crisis has led to new rules from our state government.

Related Content: Connecticut Food Association sets new safety guidelines for grocery stores during coronavirus pandemic

Governor Ned Lamont’s Safe Stores executive order went into effect Friday, April 3, which tightens the rules essential businesses have been following to maintain social distancing guidelines.

At Elm City Market in New Haven, customers are being counted at the door and handed gloves and freshly wiped down carts.

All of the workers are wearing face masks, shoppers are being asked to walk one way down the aisles, and Plexiglas shields will be installed at the cash registers.

Staff said they already began implementing social distancing before Lamont’s order.

“We know we’re doing our best to keep our staff, employees and all the customers safe,” said assistant manager Hannah Pimenta.

“I’ve been seeing a lot less people,” said customer Seamus Blau. 

His dad Jim has noticed the social distancing signage. The signs remind shoppers to stay six feet apart from each other and staff members.

“[There are] stickers on the floor and directional signs, so I think they’re managing pretty well,” he said.

Jim adds that he finds the safety measures reassuring.

“Going anywhere, going inside any building, you start to get nervous if there are too many people around— like ‘I have to get out.’ So, I appreciate that they are making the effort to keep people socially distanced.”

“We’ve been doing it all along,” said Frank Landino with Spring Glen Hardware in Hamden. 

They’ve been doing most of their business curb-side, and sales have been steady.

Landino said he appreciates the new rules and is supportive of anything that could help to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19.

“For the most part, people have been keeping their distance already,” said Landino.

Essential businesses who spoke to News 8 said safety comes first and foremost, but second, comes comforting and caring for customers. 

“It’s better to stick together and try to build each other up and create a positive atmosphere so we can recognize we’re going to beat this thing, get past it and we’re only going to grow from this as a community,” said Pimento.

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