DC Mayor Bowser: Shoppers must wear face masks in grocery stores

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday that district residents will have to wear a face mask when they shop in grocery stores, and clarified other social distancing measures the government is putting into place to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

"Going forward, for example, grocery stores must post signage that instructs customers to do such things as wear a face mask and to shop quickly and alone or with family members of their household," Bowser said in comments that were first reported by Fox 5 D.C. "The order also provides guidance for increasing social distancing and other safe practices by implementing policies like having one-way aisles when possible and having customers bag their own groceries."

In her comments, the mayor was outlining a Wednesday order she issued that clarified not just social distancing protocols for grocery stores, but farmers' markets as well.

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"The mayor's order also requires that in order to operate, all fresh food markets must have a plan in place to ensure social distancing protocols are followed," she said. "We know that farmer's markets are a crucial source of fresh nutritious food for our residents in all eight wards, particularly those who are otherwise underserved by fresh food options. But they have to be safe."

Bowser also mentioned other details from the order, including that tennis and golf, which were previously allowed as recreational activities in D.C., are now banned. Additionally, Washington is in the process of creating a hotline for people who cannot leave their homes to have food and essential delivered.

"This is for residents who are medically required to quarantine or have no other means of acquiring these items. They’ll be able to call the hotline and let us know what they need and we will work to have those items delivered to them," Bowser said, according to Fox 5 D.C.

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The order says the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Department of Health would enforce the regulations.