Supermarkets were ready for lockdown

SUPERMARKETS leapt back into action with social distancing and restricted numbers when lockdown was announced.

Supermarket queues (29161517)
Supermarket queues (29161517)

Last March when the island went into its first lockdown, supermarkets around the island laid stickers two metres apart on the ground, restricted the number of shoppers at any one time and some adopted a one-way system through the aisles.

When it was announced on Saturday that there was evidence of community seeding, they were quick to react again because many already had the gear in place in case the unfortunate happened.

A spokesperson for Sandpiper CI, which is responsible for local stores such as Morrisons and Iceland, said the transition was very quick and smooth.

‘The supermarkets were able to adapt so fast because everything was still in place from March.

‘The two-metre stickers on the floor were still there, we kept the screens up in front of the tills and there was plenty of hand sanitiser,’ they said.

Staff had masks which they are now wearing all the time in the shops and they are operating on an enhanced cleaning schedule, paying particular attention to touch points such as card machines.

The spokesperson reassured islanders that Sandpiper is not anticipating any food shortages going forward.

On Saturday, before the press briefing where lockdown was announced, huge queues of people were seen lining up waiting to get into the shops.

Since the lockdown announcement and the States’ messaging that people should not be ‘panic buying’, lines have been shorter.

In Jersey, the Sandpiper shops open 30 minutes earlier for vulnerable people.

‘At the moment this is not something we are doing in Guernsey, but we will review that situation as and when we need to,’ the spokesperson said.

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