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Woolworths and Coles to limit the number of people in their stores to encourage social distancing

Sharon Masige
  • Woolworths and Coles will be limiting the number of people in their stores during Easter.
  • Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said the Thursday leading up to Easter "is one of our busiest times in-store".
  • Coles will also be extending its opening hours.
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First, it was toilet paper, now it's people.

Woolworths and Coles are limiting the number of people in their stores in the lead up to Easter to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

With Easter coming up this week, Woolworths will be limiting the number of customers allowed in its stores "to enable social distancing between customers".

The exact number will vary depending on the size of the store, with signs posted outside showing customers where to queue. According to Woolworths, the number of customers in-store will be based on a "one in, one out" policy.

"Traditionally, the Thursday in the lead up to Easter is one of our busiest times in-store," Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters said in a statement. "We ask our customers to pre-plan their Easter shopping to avoid the usual Thursday spike in numbers."

Woolies will also reopen its pickup service for priority assistance customers – such as seniors and people with a disability – at its more than 600 service desk locations and 100 pick up drive thru locations. The service allows priority customers to order their groceries online and have a member of their family or the community pick it up for them.

Coles is also introducing customer limits at its stores in the lead up to Easter

Coles CEO Steven Cain said in a statement the supermarket "may be introducing new limits" on the number of customers when its stores are busy.

"Team members will be at store entrances to provide assistance and let you know when it is OK to come in," Cain said. "We ask that you follow their instructions and any signs in-store so we can safely serve as many customers in the community as possible."

In addition to the customer limits, Coles is extending its trading hours to 7am – 10pm, with some stores staying open until midnight.

The customer restrictions come after Woolies, Coles and even Aldi placed limits on the amount of food people could purchase due to panic buying triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

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