Woolworths rolls out screens to protect checkout staff amid COVID-19 pandemic

Woolworths will install protective screens at stores in a bid to safeguard its checkout staff amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The supermarket giant confirmed the move to Yahoo News Australia on Monday with screens to be rolled out at all stores nationally.

“As our team members continue providing for the community, we will do everything necessary to uphold public health and safety in our stores,” Claire Peters, Managing Director Woolworths Supermarkets, said.

Photo shows Woolworths staff and customers interacting through a screen.
Woolworths checkout staff will be protected by screens. Source: Woolworths/ Dallas Kilponen

“We know it’s not always easy to maintain social distancing at our checkouts, so we’ve started installing plexiglass screens as an additional safeguard for our team members and customers.”

The plexiglass screens have been installed at Sydney’s Town Hall and Kellyville North stores and will be rolled out at other stores nationwide in the coming weeks.

The screens have already been rolled out at some supermarkets in Europe while NSW-based Harris Farms has also implemented screens to protect workers.

Woolworths also announced all stores would soon employ a security guard to protect staff and customers amid the surge in supermarket shopping.

Photo shows Woolworths staff member speaking to a customer through a screen.
The move follows similar action taken in Europe. Source: Woolworths/ Dallas Kilponen

Latest move in supermarket chaos amid COVID-19 outbreak

Australia’s leading supermarkets have been at the centre of Australia’s ever-evolving coronavirus timeline.

Earlier this month Woolworths and Coles were forced to implement restrictions on the amount of toilet paper that could be purchased by an individual shopper after shelves were stripped bare.

The restrictions have since been implemented on dozens of products in-store as shoppers panic buy or stockpile items in fear of a national lockdown as the pandemic worsens.

On Sunday, the federal government announced supermarkets would remain open as an essential service, however deemed bars and cafés non-essential and forced their closure as of midday on Monday.

As of Monday morning, there were more than 1,500 confirmed cases in Australia.

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