Coles has announced it is dedicating two community hour shopping periods per week to emergency services and healthcare workers, who are essential to protecting the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting on Thursday, the first hour of trade on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be for emergency services and healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital and ambulance staff, police, firefighters and emergency service workers who hold an AHPRA card, have a workplace ID or are wearing their work uniform.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday Coles community hours will continue to be dedicated to vulnerable and elderly customers who hold a government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Companion Card, Seniors Card, Disability Card and Health Care Card.
A Coles spokesperson said the new guidelines aim to help with social distancing in stores.
"Customers are advised to use the length of a trolley as a guide for the distance between themselves and other shoppers and asked to please sanitise their hands before entering stores. The use of tap-and-go for payment is also encouraged," a Coles spokesperson said.
"Coles is spending an additional $1 million per week to extensively clean our stores and also increasing the number of security guards in our supermarkets to keep customers and team members safe during this time of unprecedented demand.
"Coles is in the early stages of rolling out our new Coles Online Priority Service and is looking to bring this service to as many vulnerable customers as possible. Our priority is to ensure a good range of everyday grocery essentials can be offered with high availability to our customers who find it difficult to shop in-store."
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