Coles will be spending $1 million every week in a drastic effort to minimise the risk of having coronavirus spread through its Australian stores.
The supermarket giant has urged sick customers to stay away, and those who enter to wash or sanitise their hands before doing so, and adhere to social distancing rules while shopping.
Employees will have an unlimited supply of hand sanitiser, with 12,000 litres, Nine reports, of the product to be made available to staff across all stores every single week.
There will be additional cleaning and sanitisation performed in high contact areas throughout stores, including trolleys, baskets, checkout areas and self-service screens.
“The sanitisers we use at Coles have all been confirmed to kill coronavirus,” a statement released on Friday read.
Shoppers will also be asked to shop using a trolley to help maintain a safe 1.5 metres from others, and to pack their own bags in a measure to reduce their contact with staff.
When checking out, customers are urged to load their groceries onto the end of the belt and wait for the customer ahead of them to leave before moving to the end of the register.
“We know that’s a big change, and we’re asking to work together on that process,” Coles chief operating officer Matt Swindells told Sunrise.
Coles’ four main requirements for shoppers
Maintain social distancing by using a trolley
Load groceries at the end of the belt at the checkout until customer ahead is gone
Pack your own groceries at the end of the register
Pay in a contactless way and avoid handing over cash
Markings will be made on the floor at checkout desks, to ensure customers stay a safe distance from each other while waiting to pay for their groceries.
“We ask that you follow all directions signposted in-store on keeping a safe distance,” the statement said.
Coles has also asked that customers pay using their card instead of cash, and encouraged them to utilise their ‘tap and go’ function to “make checking out as easy as possible”.
Efforts mirrored by Woolworths
Woolworths has rolled out a similar host of sanitisation measures in the battle against the spread of COVID-19.
On Friday, the retailer announced a raft of measures it was taking to employee and redeploy up to 20,000 people.
Coles and Woolworths have announced they will be hiring thousands to help cope with the extra pressure being placed on supermarkets nationwide as the virus shows no sign of slowing down.
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