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Coronavirus Crisis: Boston Restaurants Now Allowed To Sell Grocery Items, Paper Products

BOSTON (CBS) – Restaurants in Boston will now be allowed to sell grocery items, including produce and paper products, as people continue to social distance during the coronavirus crisis.

Mayor Marty Walsh said this has been requested by both restaurants and customers and could cut down on essential trips outside the home.

Restaurants will have to follow strict safety guidelines, limit occupancy to 10 people at any given time, and maintain six feet between staff and customers.

"By allowing restaurants to also sell grocery and other essential items, we can help address social distancing concerns in grocery stores while supporting restaurants and food businesses during these unprecedented times," Walsh said.

The new temporary policy will allow the grocery items to be sold via delivery, curbside pickup, and takeout

"I think it's been a tough time for every restaurant in the city," said Lynn MacDonald, the regional manager of Earls Kitchen and Bar. "We are extremely grateful for Mayor Walsh's decision."

Earls grocery
Grocery items available at Earls (WBZ-TV)

For those people going to grocery stores, Walsh said, "Get your shopping done quickly and leave."

"We heard from grocery store staff, they're dealing with huge crowds and masks being thrown on the ground and parking lots," Walsh said. "We don't want them to have to pick up your trash. We're asking people to do it yourself. Take it home with you. Dispose of it properly. Everyone's stressed, and everyone's on edge at this point. Remember that your actions affect other people, and we're asking people to do the respectful thing."

After submitting a health and safety plan to the licensing board, Walsh expects restaurants will be able to start selling grocery items in a day or so.

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