By Alecia Reid


GLASSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — They don’t officially take effect until Friday, but some grocery stores in New Jersey have already put new distancing rules in place that were mandated by Gov. Phil Murphy. Shoppers lined up all morning Thursday to get their groceries at the Glassboro ShopRite. The store has adhered to those mandates put forth by Murphy.

While outside, customers stood at least six feet apart.

“Americans are hard-headed and are gonna do what they wanna do so we need someone to take control,” shopper Kevin West said.

Murphy is doing just that as essential stores now have to follow mandates.

Once inside, the mandate states occupancy should be 50% of the maximum store’s capacity.

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There should also be six feet of spacing in checkout lines to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“We have to do what we have to do to keep each other safe,” a shopper named Andy said.

As far as keeping grocery stores as sanitized as possible, there should be frequent sanitation of high-touch areas, like shopping carts, counters, credit card machines and keypads.

Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes should also be provided to staff and customers.

The health department recently suggested everyone wear masks when in public.

Murphy is requiring workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while in stores, except when it inhibits their health or if the person is younger than 2 years old.

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Workers are supposed to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods.

The West family tries to limit the number of trips to the grocery store.

“Whatever it takes to slow down, if we have to go shop for a week and stay in, if that’s what we have to do, that’s what we have to do,” West said.

Similar orders have already been in effect in some states but a few customers Eyewitness News spoke to feel their neighbors are panic buying, leaving shelves empty.

“No soda, no chips, no water, no toilet paper, no cleaning supplies, no nothing,” shopper Maria Iacovone said.

As for the more vulnerable population, like the elderly, New Jersey stores must now establish special hours for them to do their shopping.