Tesco in Stowmarket reinstates one-way system
PUBLISHED: 12:52 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 30 June 2020
Social distancing measures are back in place at Stowmarket Tesco after it dropped a one-way system in place to keep customers safe.
The UK is still under legislation making it a requirement for businesses such as supermarkets to be ‘Covid-secure’ and minimising the chance of the virus spreading, but shoppers had reported that measures in one Stowmarket shop were no longer being enforced by staff.
Mid Suffolk councillor John Matthissen said that on Friday, June 26, customers at the Stowmarket supermarket were no longer required to follow one-way signs. Other measures such as hand sanitising stations, two-metre markers for queues, asking customers to use contactless payments where possible, closing urinals and toilet cubicles and the use of masks, gloves and visors by staff had remained in place.
The decision, which was contrary to Tesco policy and lockdown rules, was taken after reported confrontations between customers when some did not follow the system and others complained they did not want to travel the length of the store for a small number of items.
However, manager Scott Garrod restored the one-way system on Monday, June 29, after several customers urged him to push non-compliant customers to think of the safety of others.
Addressing the concerns of shoppers, Mr Garrod said: “Aisles one and two have one-way arrows as these are our busiest aisles and we ask that people respect each other’s space through the remaining aisles leading to a one-way system on aisle 14 where you are invited to use the next available checkout.
“I did decide to lift the one-way system this week from aisle three to aisle 13 as this particular routine has met the most resistance, created tension between customers and we have found it the hardest of all the measures to gain compliance.”
He added: “I have reinstated a number of arrows to put the one-way system back in place.
“Since March we have worked hard to make Tesco Stowmarket a safe place to work and shop and like the rest of the country have had to learn and adjust quickly.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “The safety of our colleagues and customers is our top priority. We’re currently reviewing the guidance from the government and our stores will continue to operate the same social distancing measures in the meantime.”
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