On Thursday 27th January the daily Covid figures show that 1 in 18 people in Eastbourne are infected with the virus - that we know about.
Lockdown is the final nail in the coffin for many retailers and small businesses and is affecting jobs and local families. As you know, your Chamber conducted a survey of all the major supermarkets across the town in the run up to Christmas, and we have continued to check their protection protocols since then.
We have also surveyed filling stations and found that while the operators are making gloves available, customers are not using them*. Remember, protect yourself at filling stations - WEAR THE DISPOSABLE GLOVES PROVIDED!
Read The Herald article here for details of our survey and the responses received from supermarkets. Also, see the detailed copy of our second survey below.
As you will see, the first survey discovered that with the exception of Tesco in Lottbridge Road, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury's in The Beacon Centre, the protection protocols were very hit and miss.
Some supermarket staff were not wearing masks; some stores were not controlling numbers of customers on entry, none of them had a one way system, many were not cleaning card payment PDQ machines or self payment touch screens, some staff changed tills without wiping the till between members of staff and some staff had no idea of the cleaning protocols, including one person who told us "don't worry, the virus isn't in Eastbourne".
Since our first survey, dramatic improvements have been demonstrated at ASDA, Waitrose and Aldi which are shown in the second survey results below. We are still working on Morrisons and Lidl.
If these supermarkets are enabling the virus to spread, it is our members who are having to pay the price by closing during lockdown.
To stop the spread we must all challenge our local stores to protect us.
Recommended Covid Protocols
- Clear signage displaying rules at the entrance
- Mask wearing mandatory in the store
- Reduce shopping to one person to keep numbers down - discourage couples or families
- Automated counting systems on all entrance doors
- All staff to wear masks on the shop floor
- A member of staff in the entrance encouraging people to queue, wear masks and remain distanced
- Pre-sanitised baskets and trolleys at the entrance
- All staff well briefed and aware of the need to clean PDQ machines regularly
- All staff well briefed and aware of the need to clean touch screens regularly
- At change over staff wiping tills down throughly along with payment pads
As a consequence of these clear rules, Sainsbury, M&S and Tesco customers were more careful to maintain social distancing than in other busy stores.
*Filling station customers were observed for 30 minutes. During the survey only one person used the gloves provided and only when holding the pump handle, not when making payment on the PDQ.