Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024


As of today, December 16th 2020, the Governor has issued and amendment to the previous limit on grocery/ big box stores, only allowing 25% occupancy or 75 customers at a time. Now, retailers may have a slightly increased capacity limit. The change eliminates the latter provision.

“Our priority is ensuring physical distancing in high-traffic areas, like stores that people must frequent to meet essential needs,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “With colder weather here, we want to ensure that people aren’t gathering in lines for an unsafe length of time, especially in communities where there are fewer retail options for essential needs. We are grateful to the numerous companies and stores across New Mexico that have made every effort to keep their customers, employees and communities safe.”

In accordance with the state’s county-by-county 3-tier system, the changes establish that essential retail spaces:

  • May operate at 50 percent of maximum occupancy at the green level
  • May operate at 33 percent of maximum occupancy at the yellow level
  • May operate at 25 percent of maximum occupancy at the red level

As of Wednesday afternoon, all New Mexico counties are red.

Essential retail spaces, as defined in the emergency public health order, include grocery stores, supermarkets, food banks, farmers’ markets and vendors who sell food, convenience stores, and other businesses that generate more than one-third of their revenue from the sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food, animal feed or supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other consumable food and drink products; automobile repair facilities, bike repair facilities, and retailers who generate the majority of their revenue from the sale of automobile or bike repair products; hardware stores; laundromats; and dry cleaner services.

The state encourages essential retailers to adopt designated hours for senior citizens or otherwise high-risk populations, and reminds New Mexicans to limit outings and the number of people who travel on those outings – for instance, shopping for groceries can be done by one household member, rather than an entire family.

To read the amended public health order, click here.

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