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Walmart in April. Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Walmart is resuming its monitoring and counting of customers who enter their stores in an effort to promote social distancing, while major grocers including Publix, Wegmans, Giant and Kroger are reinstating purchase limits on some essential items, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: The moves come as new infections continue to surge across the U.S., with several states reimposing or tightening their coronavirus restrictions.

Details... Walmart since April had imposed a capacity limit of about 20% occupancy in its stores, but had stopped metering its shopper counts in recent months. According to CNBC, major grocery chains had largely eased shopping restrictions, but in recent weeks:

  • Publix, Giant and Kroger have started to reinstate some purchase limits on toilet paper and paper towels.
  • Wegmans is beginning to limit some purchases of paper towels, cleaning supplies and disinfecting wipes.
  • Grocers have noted that they are not experiencing shortages at this time, but are taking precautionary measures.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Biden to get booster shot on camera — Pfizer vaccine safe, effective in children, company says — The booster vaccine discussion is far from over.
  2. Health: Study: Pandemic cut U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years — U.S. death toll surpasses 1918 flu fatalities — Chicago has highest case rates in city worker neighborhoods.
  3. Politics: Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home — Rep. Tim Ryan tests positive — Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers.
  4. Education: D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option — More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.