Woolworths rolls out new measures in fight against coronavirus

Woolworths has increased measures to help protect customers and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Stores across the country now have two seperate dedicated community hours allowing the vulnerable and those on the frontline to shop between the hours of 7am and 8am before the store opens to all customers.

Emergency services and healthcare workers will now have access to stores early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings by showing staff their AHPRA card, workplace ID or if they are wearing their work uniform.

While seniors and people with a disability will still be able to shop early on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

Customers are encouraged to check their local trading hours before shopping, as community hour will no longer be offered at the 41 priority delivery hub stores.

“We are pleased to extend our dedicated Community Hour to emergency services and healthcare workers from next week,” Woolworths Managing Director Claire Peters said.

plexiglass screens at manned checkouts at Woolworths
Woolworths is rolling out plexiglass screens at manned checkouts to protect staff and customers. Source: Woolworths

Woolworths customers to change the way they shop

Woolworths have asked customers to pack their own groceries to minimise contact and if your shopping bag is not clean, the supermarket giant will replace it for free.

Team members on checkouts will be rotating every two hours to ensure face-to-face interactions are limited and to “further support the health and wellbeing of everyone”.

In a bid to keep both shoppers and team members safe, Woolworths has introduced security guard coverage in every store and is rolling out the use of plexiglass screens at manned checkouts.

Customers carrying toilet rolls at supermarkets
Customers are being asked to pack their own bags and use contactless card payments. Source: AAP/Getty

Some registers at self-serve checkouts and express lanes will be closed to allow more space between customers.

Stores are also encouraging customers to use tap and pay if possible, so less cash changes hands and less contact is made with eftpos machines.

Communication and deep cleaning

To keep shoppers up to date with the ongoing changes, a​ store greeter​ will now meet customers at the front of the store to inform shoppers of recent updates, such as social distancing cues – including keeping 1.5m apart – adjusted trading hours and product limit information.

A​ store greeter​ will now meet Woolworths customers at the front of the store to inform shoppers of recent updates
A​ greeter​ will now meet customers at the front of the store to inform shoppers of recent updates. Source: Dallas Kilponen/PPR

The greeter will also help to wipe down baskets and trolleys, while inside the store additional deep cleaning and hygiene processes​ continue.

“Our social distancing measures have been well received by our customers and team members to date and we're grateful for the community support of this important public health effort,” Ms Peters said.

“Our teams, suppliers and logistics partners continue to work hard behind the scenes to improve product availability for our customers in-store.”

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