Australia's major supermarkets have beefed up social distancing measures ahead of the Easter rush.
Woolworths and Coles are limiting the number of customers in-store to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
Footage captured on TikTok appears to show a Woolworths staff member standing outside of a store and counting the number of shoppers entering the store using a phone clicker app.
A staff member at the entry and exit each monitor the numbers.
Although the grocery chain has not announced a set limit for customers per store, the app in this video revealed the maximum limit at the store to be 220 people.
The minimum imposed limit there appears to be 180, and 200 shoppers is the recommended amount.
Numbers will vary depending on the size of the store, upper limits for large Woolworths stores are believed to be about 300.
“We may need to limit the number of customers shopping in store to help maintain appropriate social distancing between each other,” an employee explains in a video posted to Woolworths’ Facebook and website.
According to a statement online, signs will be placed outside of a store showing customers where to queue.
“If the store has reached capacity, the number of customers will be managed using a one in, one out policy,” it reads.
“Woolworths will work closely with local centre management, security and authorities to help manage queues outside the store at peak times, to help customers keep at least 1.5 metres apart from each other.”
Each store has someone responsible for wiping down baskets and trolleys, and plexiglass screens have been placed at checkouts.
“We’ve also looked to close some registers in the assisted and express checkouts to encourage social distancing in these areas,” the statement said.
‘Not a one number fits all situation’
There is no set number that Woolworths should be aiming for to keep people safe, Dr Catherine Bennett, chair in epidemiology at Deakin University, told Yahoo News Australia on Friday.
“It’s really a function of store size and layout, so not a ‘one number fits all’ situation,” she said.
“In particular, the layout at the registers is key, for example, if stores are only using every second self-serve register to maintain safe distance between customers, then they need to look at the flow of customers and how many people can be in-store before they need to start queuing for registers.
“They will determine this based on store size and register number and layout, and probably also some trial and error until they get the balance right so that they have the max number of people allowed without compromising physical distance rules.
“Once they work that out, then the next customer is only let in when one leaves,” she said.
Shoppers queuing in the lead-up to Easter
Last Saturday morning, customers at the Woolworths Everton Park store in Brisbane's north were seen waiting outside the store waiting to be let in.
A worker greeting customers told AAP the store was limiting numbers to 100 people.
Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said the number of customers allowed into each store at any one time will be dependent on its size.
Rival supermarket Coles is also introducing measures to help authorities battle the virus.
"Team members will be at store entrances to provide assistance and let you know when it is OK to come in," chief executive Steven Cain said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.