Temporary Emergency Order Preventing Use of Reusable Bags at Retail Establishments

In a continued collective effort to halt the spread of COVID-19, Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale and Commissioner of Public Health Assaad J. Sayah, MD, today issued a temporary emergency order that restricts customers at essential retail establishments from using reusable bags after purchasing retail products. Neither staff at essential retail establishments nor their customers are permitted to bag retail products using customers’ reusable bags at checkout. During this temporary emergency, there will be no fees associated with retail establishment bags. This order is in effect immediately.

The essential retail establishments include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores and more as ordered by the Governor.

“This temporary emergency order is one more proactive step that the City of Cambridge is taking to ensure we can effectively halt the spread of COVID-19, protect our community, and put us back on the path to normalcy as quickly as possible,” said Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and City Manager Louis A, DePasquale in a joint statement. “While we understand how strongly the Cambridge community cares about recycling items whenever possible, reusable checkout bags that have not been sufficiently disinfected could potentially contribute to the spread of COVID-19 among staff and customers at these establishments. This immediate action is necessary to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

View the full emergency declaration.

The City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Public Health Department continue to work closely together to identify resources to reinforce the City’s response and preparedness activities. For more information and updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19.
Page was posted on 3/23/2020 7:05 PM
Page was last modified on 3/24/2020 2:40 PM
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