Walmart and Target have added a new measure to lessen crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic — limit the amount of people inside the stores at once.

Target announced it would start “metering” people that would enter the store.

  • Target said: “To promote social distancing with its team and guests, Target will monitor store traffic, and meter, or limit, the number of guests inside stores, when needed. Occupancy limits will vary by location and be determined by the store’s specific square footage to enhance the average space per person and reduce the possibility of congestion. If metering is required, a Target team member will provide a designated waiting area outside with social distancing markers.”

Walmart announced that it would limit the amount of people in its store based on square footage. Customers will be counted as they enter into the store.

  • Walmart said: “To manage this restriction, the associates at a store will mark a queue at a single-entry door (in most cases the grocery entrance) and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store — especially before it opens in the morning. Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a ‘1-out-1-in’ basis.”

For context, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people stay 6 feet apart from each other to stop the community spread of the coronavirus.

These moves by Target and Walmart echo similar moves from retailers across the country. Walmart, along with grocery stores from Kroger, have begun testing one-way aisles, which would limit the amount of people who could visit one aisle at a time.

Grocery stores have similarly added senior hours to their schedules. These hours only allow elderly people to visit the store for a given length of time, allowing them to shop to be free of the coronavirus community spread. Seniors and elderly people are considered the most at risk of coronavirus patients.