Agency Of Commerce And Community Development Releases Guidance for Limited Reopening of Retail in the State

13 May 2020


Montpelier, Vt. –  The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has released updated guidance for non-essential retail and drive-in operations, as state modeling continues to indicate a slow in the spread of COVID-19 and testing and contact tracing programs are expanded. This guidance, developed with the Department of Health and Department of Public Safety, is in accordance with Governor Phil Scott’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order and goes into effect May 18, 2020.

As retail reopens in a limited capacity, retailers must review the mandatory health and safety requirements that apply to ALL businesses, including employee training, health screening and developing safety plans to ensure their business operations are being run in line with all Health Department requirements. 

“As we move forward, businesses and employees must understand that how they work is essential to resuming and maintaining business operations,” said ACCD Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “Preventing outbreaks and limiting the spread of COVID-19 is the only way to avoid future business and social disruption.” 

Additional retailer specific guidance includes:

  • Non-essential retail operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater.  Operators must POST their temporary occupancy limit, and which method was used to determine it, prominently on all entrances. Posting templates are available at
  • Curbside pickup remains the preferred method of operation. When possible, retailers should take steps to schedule or stage customer visits, such as waiting in cars or outside, to ensure lower contact operations.
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred.

Critical retailers, such as grocery stores, that continued operations under the Stay Home, Stay Safe order do not need to reduce occupancy to continue operating. 

Additional guidance for drive-in operations including, but not limited to, movie theaters, restaurants, religious services, graduation ceremonies, and other gatherings:

  • Vehicles must be spaced a minimum of 6 (six) feet apart.
  • No gatherings outside vehicles are allowed.
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred.
  • Restrooms on site must be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
  • Any concessions on site must be done via takeout or delivery or pursuant to any future food service guidance.

Find the full non-essential retail guidance and updated Restart Memo here:

Restart Resources for ALL businesses as they are reopened, including a capacity calculator and appropriate signage: 


Sector-specific guidance:


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