Coronavirus Resources for Retailers

Updated information about COVID-19
Top Resources

The health and safety of customers and workers is retailers’ top priority. NRF is closely monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 pandemic, coordinating with government agencies, health experts and retailers as the situation continues to evolve.

NRF is addressing the supply chain implications as well as developments related to the spread of the virus globally and domestically. Please come back to this page for regular updates.

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    Matthew Shay appears on Fox Business
    In the news
    The retail industry needs a bridge to restart economy says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, appearing on Varney & Co on Fox Business March 23, 2020.
    Latest updates

    Friday, March 27: The House of Representatives has passed the CARES Act by voice vote and President Trump has signed the bill. NRF issued this statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay after the House vote.

    The Department of Labor published updated guidance that includes questions and answers addressing critical issues such as what documents employees can be required to submit to their employers to use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave; whether workers can take paid sick leave intermittently while teleworking and whether workers whose employers closed before the effective date of the FFCRA can still get paid sick leave.

    NRF sent a letter to the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve to make certain relief programs are accessible to retailers of all shapes and sizes. We also sent a letter to the National Governors Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors encouraging them to consider emergency measures to assist retailer and restaurant operators with their upcoming rent obligations.   

    Thursday, March 26: The Senate has passed a landmark $2 trillion stimulus package intended to keep the U.S. economy afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. NRF writes about how it will bring billions to cash-strapped retailers in this blog post.

    NRF’s food safety partner, Ecolab, has shared the following information on COVID-19, with particular resources for businesses in the restaurant, hospitality, and food and beverage sectors.


    Wednesday, March 25: NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay was interviewed on CNBC Squawk Box Asia to discuss Congress' proposed $2 trillion stimulus bill.

    Early this morning the White House announced a deal with the Senate on a new $2 trillion stimulus package, or CARES Act. Read NRF’s summary of the bipartisan legislation and NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay’s statement welcoming the bill: "Economic stimulus legislation intended to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will help businesses "get through this turbulent time."

    Tuesday, March 24: The NRF and RILA submitted a letter to the White House Coronavirus Taskforce and the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) requesting an expansion of categories of the workforce deemed essential to our nation’s critical infrastructure. The letter outlines several recommendations based on retailer feedback received over the past several days and request that CISA create a specific  “essential retail worker” subcategory within their memorandum.

    NRF launches online resource for retail employees to learn about job openings in the event their current positions have been impacted by temporary or permanent closures.

    NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay appeared on CNN International’s First Move with Julia Chatterley and Fox Business’ Cavuto: Coast to Coast to discuss retail’s need for a bridge – not a bailout – to stay afloat.

    Monday, March 23: NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay appeared on Fox Business’ Varney & Co. to discuss what retailers need in an economic stimulus package.

    NRF had a call with staff at the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency to discuss the agency’s memo that identified and defined the workforce critical to the nation’s infrastructure and economy. NRF believes that CISA’s memo has been a helpful guide to state and local governments, but there’s more work to be done.

    Sunday, March 22: The Senate introduced the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act — an economic stimulus bill intended to address many of the underlying risks to the national economy, consumers and businesses, and provide support for health care providers

    Saturday, March 21: NRF was among 90 retail industry trade groups that sent a letter to the White House calling for swift and flexible economic stabilization efforts. The business groups that signed the letter agree that the paramount issue facing the industry right now is liquidity and urged policymakers to consider proposals that protect and preserve the economic health of the retail workforce and provide sufficient liquidity for small, medium and large-scale businesses to remain viable through until the end of the crisis. 

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published Federal Register notices that provided details for the recently announced temporary travel restrictions on both the Northern and Southern Border. The restrictions are effective for the next 30 days. The restrictions apply to non-essential travel across the borders.

    Read NRF's detailed daily update here.

    Friday, March 20: NRF released two benchmarking surveys surrounding retailers' COVID-19 responses. 

    New York Governor Cuomo announced that all employees of non-essential businesses are required to stay home. New Yorkers can still commute to work if they’re in an essential business. See list of essential businesses

    Thursday, March 19: Gov. Newsom, in addition to LA City and County, issued statewide Stay at Home orders to all California residents and stated California will follow the DHS CISA guidance on essential workers. 

    NRF sent a letter to President Trump and administration officials urging the federal government to produce national guidance for state and local governments seeking to clarify “essential retail businesses and services” for their communities. Read the letter.

    Wednesday, March 18: NRF sent a letter to the White House, Treasury Department and House and Senate leadership supporting their swift efforts in minimizing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in terms of public health and broader economic implications domestically and around the world.

    NRF joined several other associations in sending a letter to congressional leaders requesting changes to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) to allow beneficiaries to buy hot prepared foods with their SNAP benefits cards.

    Monday, March 16: President Trump released The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America - 15 Days to Slow the Spread.

    Philadelphia announced new restrictions on business activity in certain counties, closing all but "essential commercial establishments." The governor later updated this order to apply to the entire commonwealth. Read more.

    Public health officers of seven Bay Area jurisdictions counties announced a legal order directing residents to shelter at home for three weeks.

    NRF and RILA jointly sent a letter to leadership at the National Governors Association (NGA) and U.S. Conference of Mayors encouraging better communication between state and local policymakers and retailers as they make recommendations on whether to close or curtail retail business operations. 

    Sunday, March 15: NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and RILA President Brian Dodge issued a joint statement about responsible shopping during COVID-19.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of Community and Economic Development encouraged all "non-essential" businesses in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties to temporarily close, including shopping malls. Read the letter.

    Saturday, March 14: President Trump announced that the United Kingdom and Ireland will be added to the current travel restrictions that were recently announced for the European Union. The UK and Ireland restrictions will begin on Monday at midnight.

    U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency declaration that suspends driver Hours of Service requirements for those who are providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19.

    Friday, March 13: President Trump declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency and announced partnerships with retailers to make testing more available. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay issued this statement in response.

    The Department of Homeland Security outlined a new process for Americans returning from Certain European Countries, China and Iran.

    NRF posted the following new resources for retailers:

    The New York Department of Health issued Interim Guidance for Large Gatherings and Public Spaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak in which it directed that any gathering with 500 or more participants be cancelled or postponed. The guidance applies to restaurants but not retail stores.

    Thursday, March 12: U.S. Department of Labor announces New Guidance on Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities during COVID-19 outbreak.

    Wednesday, March 11: President Trump announced a 30-day ban on foreign travelers from many European countries beginning Friday at midnight. Cargo from the EU is not impacted by the travel restrictions.

    The State Department issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory – Reconsider Travel which advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19

    The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Read the WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19.

    Tuesday, March 10: The Department of Labor issued new guidelines and recommendations for preparing workplaces for COVID-19 along with links to more detailed information and resources.

    NRF Resources

    U.S. Government Resources

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

      White House

      U.S. Coast Guard 

      U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

        U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

          Environmental Protection Agency

          Department of Labor

          Tracking Store Closures

          Multiple media outlets are tracking store closures.

          Department of Health and Human Services

          Department of Homeland Security

              Food and Drug Administration

              Occupational Safety and Health Administration

              State Department

              Small Business Administration

              U.S. Department of Transportation

              Other Resources

              World Health Organization

              Johns Hopkins CSSE



              European Resources

              Workplace Safety and Employment Law Resources

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              NRF Call with CDC

              What retailers need to know about COVID-19

              On February 28, NRF hosted a conference call for NRF members with Nancy Messonnier, MD, and Lisa M. Koonin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Listen to the call to learn more about what retailers need to know about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.