By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
Food stores yesterday said they were coping with the newly-enforced social distancing policy implemented by the government to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
Atwell Ferguson, Golden Gates Supermarket’s general manager, told Tribune Business: “It’s not too bad, especially like yesterday. Tuesday was really, really crowded, and we still handled it and I guess it is a good thing how we had to set up the markers so the people could be separated.
“It is a serious thing, and we are looking out for everybody and everyone looking out for one another. I think because of this it is drawing everyone closer together, and we are trying work the best way we could with it.”
The government’s latest Emergency Powers Order requires food stores to set out markets ensuring customers are kept six feet apart at check-out counters and also when queuing to get inside. The requirement that there is to be only one person for every 30 square feet also limits the number of customers that can be inside at any one time, resulting in lines building up outside.
Martin Chea, general manager of John Chea Supermarket on East Street South, added: “We have started putting out all of the markers at every six feet. We have markers in place so that people know about the social distancing. We have security out to the front monitoring the amount of people coming into the store, and also just trying to be as safe as possible.
“Usually it is busy in the early day, and then tapers off in the later afternoons and evenings. But because of the time extending, people are coming based on the time that they have, so it is not like everyone has to cram in all at once. So that helps a little bit. But we still see from time to time, like Tuesday, we had a line outside where we had to ensure and enforce the social distancing coming in.”