Retail giant Asda has said it’s bringing in 1,000 new safety marshals on its doors to make sure shoppers are staying safe and following its guidelines. The news comes after coronavirus cases are on the rise in the UK and supermarkets have implemented new changes in-stores to make them as safe as possible for customers and staff.
The Asda Safety Marshals are set to be stationed at the front of every store as well as being present in the aisles of larger stores.
The marshals will help customers with any safety questions as well as telling them to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing whilst they shop for groceries.
If customers are not wearing masks in store, they will be told they can buy a pack of disposable masks and pay for them at the checkout with the rest of their shop.
Those who fail to do so can be fined by the police – up to £100 in England (soon to be £200), £60 in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
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All Asda store workers will now be wearing a face covering at work unless they have a valid reason not to.
Anthony Hemmerdinger, chief operating officer at Asda, said: “We know that safety remains a key priority for our customers and we will continue to do all we can to keep them and our colleagues safe in store, as we have since the start of the pandemic.
“These additional measures will make our stores an even safer place to shop and work during the coming months.”
These measures add to the existing ones that Asda has in place including screens at checkouts, social distancing signs outside and in-store as well as regular deep cleans.
Asda stores are varying in opening times across the country so it is best to check your local opening times before travelling for a grocery shop.
Although there are no current buying restrictions on any items, the supermarket giant says it will occasionally put purchase limits on certain products that are high in demand.
There are currently no special opening hours for the elderly or vulnerable but Asda’s Volunteer Shopping Card will allow people to buy goods for those who cannot leave the house.
All NHS staff and care workers can get priority access to larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am-9am with a valid work ID.
The number of customers in-store is limited but there are social distanced markings outside most shops to help shoppers keep a safe distance whilst they wait to enter.
Morrisons has also created 2,420 new cleaning roles across its shops.
Each one of its supermarkets is to undergo a deep clean every three weeks to help stop the spread of the virus.
Jayne Wall, operations director at Morrisons said: “The hygiene within our stores has become more important than ever due to the impact of Covid-19.
“We want to make sure our customers feel as safe as possible when doing their grocery shopping with us. So we’ve made this multi-million-pound investment to introduce first-class hygiene procedures.”