Woolworths urges face masks for staff and customers at ACT stores

Ian Bushnell 3 August 2020 3
COVID-19, Woolworths, Shopping, Queuing to enter

Queuing to enter Woolworths in Woden earlier in the year. Woolworths now wants staff and customers to wear masks. Photo: File.

Woolworths will urge the wearing of face masks in all its ACT stores from Monday as part of a new response to combat the spread of COVID-19 after the growth of virus hot spots in Sydney.

The new guidance comes despite the fact that the ACT only has one active case and has not had a new case for three weeks.

The guidance will apply to Woolworths Supermarkets, Woolworths Metro Food Stores, BIG W, Dan Murphy’s, BWS and ALH Hotels.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said the safety and wellbeing of customers, teams and communities was the company’s top priority.

“Even though wearing a face covering is not mandatory in NSW, ACT or Queensland, as the largest private-sector employer with stores in almost every community, we feel it’s important we lead the way in helping reduce community transmission of COVID-19. We’re asking our teams to lead by example, and this includes our Group Executive Team,” he said.

“Masks and face coverings are a highly visible symbol of the persistence of COVID-19. By encouraging and role modelling their use, it will further support the steps we need to collectively take to stop the spread of the virus and keep our team and customers safe.”

Face coverings will be provided to all Woolworths Group team members to wear and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

Mr Banducci said Woolworths would continue to work with the Health Department to make sure its safety protocols and procedures are the best they can be.

In Queensland, customers and teams across Woolworths Group stores and sites within hot spot areas are also being urged to wear face coverings from today.

This is in addition to the mandatory requirements for face coverings in all of Victoria, currently in place across Melbourne and Mitchell shires, with the entire state now included from Sunday.

Demand for face masks is high in the ACT, but authorities have assured Canberrans that there is a plentiful supply.

The benefits of masks have been a contentious issue but are seen as a practical barrier to spreading the virus, so long as they are changed frequently or washed and wearers take care removing them.

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3 Responses to Woolworths urges face masks for staff and customers at ACT stores
Valleyboy Valleyboy 4:36 pm 04 Aug 20

I visited the Conder Woolies today, wearing a mask as requested. The person near the entrance, who I guess was the nominal “greeter” to “recommend” to customers that they wear a mask, wasn’t wearing one, and nor were any other of the staff members that I saw around the aisles or at the checkouts. It wasn’t long in there before I took my own mask off. I felt like a sucky goose with it on.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:08 pm 31 Jul 20

Calling this leadership is probably a bit insulting to the health and political leaders in the ACT, NSW and Qld, but if Woollies wants to show leadership in their own patch, they could also –

– stock masks in their stores, at genuinely non-gouge prices, and in small packs with strict daily limits – to make things a bit harder for the hoarders and the daigou

– ensure that all stores have a very good supply of wet-wipes at the entrance, near the trolleys – that was done well, a few months ago, but has become patchy in more recent times

– reverse their cost-cutting practice of having at least half the self-serve checkout machines as card only – it’s quite common for customers (of all ages – not just “OK, Boomers” and pre-Boomers) to wait in a queue for a cash machine while card-only machines go begging

– remind customers that leaving your trolley in the middle of an aisle while you peer at shelves, and engage in earnest conversation with your shopping companion (or on your phone), does not aid social distancing

De Smet Dympna De Smet Dympna 10:10 am 31 Jul 20

Pity they don’t do same at Queanbeyan/Airport stores , it is very slack in that shop! Nobody on doors to ensure hygiene practices, the hand sanitiser empty etc people just encroaching on my space etc, I go to Jerrabomberra where they are extremely conscientious ! Come on Woolies lift your game everywhere

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