Eastbourne has the highest infection rate in East Sussex with 1 in 24 people now infected with the virus. This is twice the national average so what is causing it? Our members have been forced to close down, many are on the brink of going out of business and thousands of jobs will be lost in our town if they do. Given these sacrifices, why is the infection rate still increasing so fast?
To try to understand the reasons for the continuing spread of the virus the Chamber undertook a survey and visited all the supermarkets in Eastbourne in December and January. The supermarkets at the bottom of the league table attached below were visited and surveyed more than once to check their protection protocols.
In the first lockdown last March, supermarkets were extremely cautious and people were prepared to queue and follow one way systems around the store. Those procedures seem to have been relaxed however and some supermarkets are letting customers decide whether to oberve the protective guidlines or ignore them.
The safest stores are cleaning trolleys, baskets and touchpoints, while some are banning shoppers without masks and limiting family numbers coming to shop. However others are relying on signs alone and are not investing in additional staff to clean PDQs and payment touchscreens or encourage customers to wear masks and keep their distance.
Prior to Christmas some of these stores were rammed full of customers and social distancing had gone out of the window! So which are the safest stores to shop in? Read our matrix league table attached below, protect yourself and stay safe!