As the whole of the UK goes into a police-enforced-lockdown to prevent the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, from spreading and mutating further. To combat the high demand and tackle the nation’s panic buying and stockpiling many stores have enforced new measures to protect their staff and shoppers from the coronavirus – including Aldi.
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Very few places have been permitted to remain open with one of the exceptions being for supermarkets.
Over the last couple of weeks, Britain has been plagued with pictures of chaotic scenes both inside and outside stores, all the major chains have been slowly implementing new measures to make sure staff and customers are both safe and can get the items they need, and Aldi has just taken it one step further.
As well as encouraging customers to keep two metres apart by using signage, Aldi has installed two-metre markers on the floors to encourage appropriate social distancing at the checkout.
Aldi is also installing clear screens at more than 7,000 checkouts in order to protect cashiers from unnecessary contact with customers, who are being asked to pay with contactless, Apple Pay or Android Pay if at all possible.
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It is also limiting the number of products people can buy at one time to four, the stores have reduced opening hours to allow staff to restock shelves while shops are empty, closing by 8pm daily.
Why is social distancing?
Social distancing simply means reducing the amount of social interaction with other people, in an effort to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
Why is it important?
Social distancing is hugely important as it effectively reduces further transmission of the virus, and also helps to lessen the strain on the already overstretched NHS.
By reducing social contact the chain of transmission of COVID-19 becomes much smaller, meaning those who are infected will only potentially infect up to two other people over the course of their infection.
What is the current government advice?
The government has urged people to avoid all contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus, including a high temperature and a new continuous cough, and abide by the following measures:
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
- Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this.
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- Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres, and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
The government added online: “We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.”
There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Washing your hands more often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
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