Published 21 March 2020
Major supermarkets and grocery stores in Canada are implementing plexiglass protection and other significant measures to protect workers and customers from the spread of COVID-19.
March 21, 2020 - Major supermarkets and grocery stores in Canada are implementing significant measures to protect workers and customers from the spread of COVID-19.
On Friday, Sobeys announced that Plexiglass shields were being installed at all cash registers to protect customers and employees from the dangerous SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. As more research reveals that people carrying the virus may be asymptomatic or may not show symptoms for up to 14 days, the move is designed to protect people in the store from droplets released from everyday actions such as talking or coughing.
Sobeys is introducing further measures to protect people in-store. Markers are placed on the floor leading to cashiers ensuring that customers stand 2 metres apart when in line. Staff are being told that they must wash their hands at least once every 15 minutes. Also, extra resources are being put in place to ensure cleaning and sanitizing is done more frequently than normal.
By Saturday, Loblaws had announced it was implementing similar Plexiglass screens throughout its Canadian stores. Loblaws stores will also limit the number of customers allowed into stores at the same time, and they’ve also announced that they’re temporarily reducing the 5-cent fee for plastic bags to discourage people from bringing reusable bags into the store which may be harbouring the coronavirus.
Sobeys, Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart have all announced reduced operating hours to enable more time for in-store cleaning and sanitizing, as well as store replenishment. Ensuring employees have adequate rest time is also important as stores are busier than normal with more people are eating at home as bars, restaurants and cafes are all ordered to close.