BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As of 5 p.m Saturday, Governor Kay Ivey’s stay-at-home order is officially in effect. The order states Alabama residents must stay at home except for “essential activities” like grocery shopping, getting gas, going to the doctor, etc. (You can find the full essential business list here) All essential businesses will remain open, but how they will operate in the meantime has changed.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, the Piggly Wiggly off Highway 31 in Homewood will now only allow 50 people in the store at one time to shop.
“We’re trying to protect ourselves and them,” said Piggly Wiggly manager Johnny Miller.
According to Governor Ivey’s stay-at-home order, stores can only allow 50 percent of their maximum capacity inside. For Home Depot in Hoover, the home improvement store started limiting it’s customers to 150 at one time on Monday. At Costco Wholesale, which can normally hold up to 600 shoppers at one time, is limiting its customers to 100 at a time and has been for weeks. Once 100 people are in the store, the doors will close, and once a few exit, a few will be allowed in. Wal-Mart is much the same with lines forming outside.
Publix released the following statement Saturday afternoon regarding the new stay-at-home order in Alabama:
"We are currently adjusting and implementing our occupancy plan for Alabama’s Shelter in Place. Each store has a maximum capacity, inclusive of associates. We will have store personnel at our doors to assist customers. We will take our maximum capacity, divide that by two, and allow that number of customers/associates in our store at one time. As 10 exit, we’ll allow 10 to enter the store. We’ll have markers at the front of our doors, spaced 6 feet apart, and remind customers to social distance. Inside of our stores, we continue with: the installation of plexiglass shields at registers, customer service desks and pharmacies in all stores, in-store signage and public address announcements reminding customers and associates of social distancing, visual reminders of appropriate six-foot spacing via marked lines at registers, and adjusted store hours to allow more time to conduct additional disinfection measures and restock shelves. "
All these box stores, along with the Piggly Wiggly, want to remind customers to be patient if lines are long during this difficult time.
“It might take you a tad longer to check out, but it’s safer,” Miller added.
Alabama’s stay-at-home order will remain in effect until April 30th at 5 pm.