A grocery store is an essential business that provides a useful service to shoppers. For customers and staff to feel safer when they visit or while at work, it’s necessary to consider how best to protect them.
Here are some suggestions for ways to ensure staff and customers remain safe during this difficult time.
By separating either staff from customers or each other, safe shopping can be assured through the use of sneeze guards. These are plexiglass separators that keep people a safe distance from each other.
If someone has cold or flu-like symptoms, they may accidentally sneeze towards the glass but the people on the other side will be unaffected. These types of protection mechanisms are highly visible and provide reassurance to everyone.
Reinforce Social Distancing Through Limiting Customer Numbers
It becomes impossible to socially distance when there are too many customers milling about the grocery store. This leads to crowded aisles and an inability for people to make space for others.
By putting up signs at the entrance and in the store to remind shoppers to socially distance, as well as using a “one customer out, one customer in” policy, it keeps the flow of customers steady while avoiding potential overcrowding.
Provide Hand Wash and Wipes at the Entrance
Let customers use hand wash and dry their hands before entering the store. This is optional but can go along way to avoid germs spreading by touch on products or display racks.
Also, providing discounted wrapped face masks is another possibility, depending on the financial viability of this option. Customers can open and immediately use the mask and scan the barcode when they get to the customer checkout point later.
Develop a Clear Policy for Employees to Follow
Staff must be clear about what they need to do to both keep safer and ensure the safety of customers too.
They must know what is and is not required of shoppers regarding taking reasonable precautions against Covid-19. Are face masks currently required in the state? Are customers to be prevented from entering the store and/or escorted out by the security guard if they refuse to wear a protective face mask?
With employees, what warning signs must they be on the lookout for to determine if they may be infected? Some of these might include an elevated temperature, a loss of taste or smell, etc. Should someone in their household get sick with Covid, they must be advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. Sick employees must say home if they’re unsure if they’re infected and/or cannot get a Covid test to confirm it.
Test Staff for Temperature Levels Upon Arrival
It’s a good idea to test the temperature level of each arriving staff member every time they enter the premises.
No-contact temperature checking equipment can verify that they don’t have an elevated temperature. Checks should be performed in the morning and after lunch because results may change throughout the day depending on how they respond to an undetected infection.
Grocery stores can stay open to serve the public while still protecting employees and customers. It’s just a matter of taking the appropriate steps when doing so.