Australia

Health workers get special shopping hours

Coles will give health workers priority shopping during the coronavirus outbreak. Source: AAP

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital workers and firefighters will have exclusive access to Coles during the first hour of trade on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Coles is offering health workers and emergency services personnel special shopping hours.

The first hour of trade on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be set aside for workers including doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital workers and firefighters.

Special access begins this Thursday.

Workers will need to be wearing their uniforms and carrying their work ID or their Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency card to access stores when they open at 7am.

Coles says it's also in the early stages of rolling out a new priority online shopping service for Australia's most vulnerable customers, after suspending ordinary online orders last week.

Seniors have been making the most of "community hour" in Australian supermarkets.
Seniors have been making the most of "community hour" in Australian supermarkets.
AAP

Priority access for health and emergency workers won't affect existing arrangements for vulnerable and elderly customers.

Those customers will continue to have their own special shopping hour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Coles Group chief executive Steven Cain says it's important to help healthcare and emergency services workers, who are under enormous strain amid the coronavirus emergency.

 

The retail giant says it's currently spending an extra $1 million a week to clean its stores, and increase security at its outlets.

It has also introduced measures to help customers exercise social distancing, including advice for shoppers to stay a trolley length distance away from others.

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