A man wears a face mask as a preventive measure against coronavirus at a checkout in a Woolworths supermarket in Coburg, Melbourne.
A man wears a face mask as a preventive measure against coronavirus at a checkout in a Woolworths supermarket in Coburg, Melbourne.

Woolworths rolls out shields to protect workers

Supermarket giant Woolworths has started implementing protective shields across its stores to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

In a drastic move that is likely to shock many shoppers, employees at check-outs will have new plexiglass shields installed around them to ensure they have limited contact with customers.

In the coming weeks all of the chain's 1000 stores will have the new shields installed at thousands of check-outs.

The new measure is expected to cost Woolworths millions of dollars and has already begun being rolled out in stores in NSW.

This includes in its popular CBD Town Hall location and Kellyville North in Sydney's northwest.

Woolworths has introduced plexiglass screens across its supermarket network to protect workers from being exposed to COVID-19. Picture: Dallas Kilponen.
Woolworths has introduced plexiglass screens across its supermarket network to protect workers from being exposed to COVID-19. Picture: Dallas Kilponen.

Woolworths Supermarkets' managing director Claire Peters said they were doing everything possible to ensure a safe and healthy environment in their stores.

"We know it's not always easy to maintain social distancing at check-outs so we've started installing plexiglass screens as an additional safeguard for our team members and customers," he said.

"As our team members continue providing for the community we will do everything necessary to uphold public health and safety in our stores."

Other countries around the world have introduced the new protective barriers in supermarkets including in France and Canada.

Woolworths has also ramped up its security in stores and will have a security guard in every store across the country.

It comes after a serious of disasters at many supermarkets in recent weeks including fights breaking out between customers over toilet paper which has been scarce to buy.

And the introduction of the new protective screens comes after Woolworths implemented a range of social distancing measures on the weekend which remain in stores.

This included customers being encouraged to use their trolley as a distance guide to others in stores and to follow floor markings at check-outs to ensure people maintained a safe distance from each other.

Woolworths customers have also been encouraged to use card not cash where possible to limit the touching of money instore and prevent the possible spread of any infection.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

Originally published as Woolworths rolls out shields to protect workers



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