A photo of a busy Bunnings compared to a deserted beach has sparked debate over social distancing rules and why people can flock to stores but are urged to not spend time outside amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The two photos were posted to a Facebook page for the community of Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast, on Easter Saturday.
The photo from inside Bunnings Noosaville shows a queue of people practicing social distancing, however there were concerns over how full the store was.
It then raised questions as to why people could not spend time at Sunshine Coast beaches, with tourists and locals alike urged to stay away.
“Meanwhile at Bunnings and Noosa Main Beach,” a man said on the picture comparing the busy Bunnings store to the abandoned beach.
A woman commented saying the rules were “nonsensical”.
“Very interesting contrast in pictures,” she said.
“Indoor crowds at Bunnings OK but whatever you do, don’t spread out at the beach.”
Another said it was “not safe when too many go in at once”.
“Yeah what a joke, government telling everyone to stay home yet the shops are open it’s a bit of a laugh,” a man commented.
Others however, commented Bunnings was an essential service and if it closed a number of people would be out of work.
One also made the point the number of people could be capped within stores but could not be in a public space.
Bunnings had encouraged people to shop at the store for supplies ahead of the Easter break, with research showing 65 per cent of Australians had at least one unfinished DIY job to do at home.
As Easter is a busy time for Bunnings, it urged people to get in early so social distancing guidelines could be maintained.
“We know the importance of customers being able to access the products they need, whether it’s for urgent home repairs and maintenance, supplies for tradies to keep their businesses running or items for home projects to keep people active,” Bunnings Managing Director Mike Schneider said.
The Bunnings boss claimed the hardware giant had seen an increase in demand for necessary products that customers needed for DIY projects or to maintain homes.
“We’re also hearing from customers that these projects provide a useful physical and mental distraction to the challenges of extended periods of time at home,” he said.
“We also understand the importance that a reliable supply of key products is to both DIY and trade customers to keep their business running and support their local communities, particularly with emergency repairs and maintenance.”
Bunnings implements strict social distancing rules
Customers may experience some delays if visiting Bunnings due to the social distancing guidelines it has implemented across stores.
It has increased cleaning in-store and for equipment such as counters, trolleys and baskets. Team members have also been provided with gloves and hand sanitiser.
Bunnings has suspended its popular sausage sizzles along with family events and in-store activities.
Customers are also required to stand on marked crosses on floors to maintain 1.5 metres of distance from others.
It has also rolled out register guards, closed water fountains and coffee stations, encouraged tap and go pay, limited customers in busier aisles and limited the number of customers in-store during busy periods.
Bunnings stores are exclusively open to tradies, health and emergency workers before 9am weekdays.
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