Massachusetts & Ohio Lift Self-Serve Restrictions

BOSTON and COLUMBUS, Ohio — Convenience stores in two states are able to provide self-serve offerings due to the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions.

Massachusetts retailers can resume self-serve coffee and fountain drink stations after a four-month pause, reported WCVB5 ABC.

"Convenience stores have been essential lifelines in many communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for basic food and household items and have kept thousands employed," said Jonathan Shaer, executive director of the New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association.

The changes affect the approximately 3,200 c-stores within Massachusetts.

"Lifting these restrictions is an important step to help our industry recover while meeting the needs of customers as the state strives to reopen our economy safely," Shaer added.

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine's office issued a health order signed by interim state health director Lance Himes that eases a number of COVID restrictions, including self-serve stations at convenience and grocery stores, reported the Columbus Dispatch.

Restaurants are not included in the order, which requires them to maintain social distancing by designating six feet of space with signs and tapes. They are also limited to 10 people per table with face mask requirements when not seated.