Supermarkets consider scrapping social distancing rules

social distancing covid-19 pandemic
Retail bosses will hold crunch talks with government officials in the coming days
// Supermarket bosses will hold talks with government to discuss removal of social distancing measures
// Social distancing would only be removed if it could be justified that customer safety would remain a priority
// The call comes after retailers found the restrictions were having an impact on footfall

Supermarket executives will reportedly engage in talks with the government to discuss the removal of social distancing measures, including the one metre-plus rule and mandatory mask wearing.

Retail bosses will hold crunch talks with government officials in the coming days after figures showed the measures were having a major impact on footfall.

Retail sources said social distancing in stores would only be removed if it could be justified by scientific figures and that customer safety would remain the number one priority, The Grocer reported.

READ MORE: 10p plastic bag charge to come into force in England on May 21

The talks with the government will involve the operations bosses of both food and non-food retailers.

The government is currently reviewing the future of social distancing rules, including the removal of rules on mandatory wearing of masks in shops for staff and customers, as part of plans for a major relaxation on June 21.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said last week businesses were waiting “with bated breath” for the go-ahead to scrap the restrictions, in stores and also in warehouses.

The latest BRC-Sensormatic IQ figures showed footfall was down by 40 per cent compared with before the pandemic.

The BRC said the cost of social distancing measures brought in since the pandemic was now “in the billions”.

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  1. They shouldn’t. They should take better care of their customers. Without them they have no profits. It should be people over profits. And stop all this Aldi price match rubbish. The quality has gone down since they did this.

  2. How can customer safety be their number one priority (they don’t even mention keeping staff safe!), if they talking about removing social distancing& mask-wearing.

  3. In any supermarket I have visited in the past 6 months this has already taken place, with signage remaining as a token gesture. Customers have mostly stopped caring, as for the most part their being able to do what they like when they like how they like has returned and is the only thing that troubles their grey cells. Staff seem little bothered by distancing either, and retail management are back to their usual blocking of aisles and leaning over shelves while they discuss their next latest and greatest plans to put some cheese on a shelf. Saying customer safety is even “a” priority is silly; it never has been.

  4. Social distancing in Supermarkets and any busy type store is a blessing. Nothing could be more worse than having to manoeuvre your way around with a shopping trolley with scores of people around you, possibly coughing, sniffing, yelling down their phones and then having to stand and wait in a queue at the checkouts. No, I love social distancing in supermarkets, I feel safer, especially now with this “Indian” covid variant doing its rounds. Health and safety of customers and staff is paramount. What’s more staff are even more pleasant since they are not working under such pressure. I say Social Distancing must stay for as long as possible.

  5. So how do you expect staff to keep jobs if the footfall remains low. I can tell you that staff are being pushed into being available at anytime to satisfy apparent gaps in the day that managers see fit to come up with. Small regard has been given to shop workers many of whom have had no choice but to carry on working in unfavourable and sometimes hostile conditions. It is time to open up. Vaccines work, so lets go!


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