Safer shopping will help stop the virus spreading and save lives

Supermarket shopping is a vital lifeline for most of us - but it also could increase our risk of infection from Covid-19...

Published: Tuesday, 19th January 2021 Face Mask / Covering

With increasing pressure on hospitals and the UK now in what we hope is its last lockdown period, people are now required to stay at home except for a handful of permitted reasons, one of which is to shop for basic necessities. Watford Borough Council is therefore reminding residents of the best way to minimise their risk when visiting supermarkets.

Supermarket shopping is a vital lifeline for most of us - but it also could increase our risk of infection from Covid-19. From one-way systems to hand sanitiser provision and checkout screens, shops and supermarkets are doing what they can, but all of their actions also rely on our behaviour to support them and keep ourselves and others safe.

The new variant of the virus is much easier to spread and so even if you have been safe to date when chatting to people on the shopping outing, it doesn’t mean you won’t be infected by the same behaviour now. We need to remember that two out of three people do not show any symptoms even when they are infectious. For most of us going to the supermarket is the time we encounter the most other people at present, this makes it the highest risk activity we are doing.

These six simple steps tell shoppers what they should do before, during and after their trip to the supermarket in order to minimise their risk of contracting Covid-19 and take the ‘covid strain’ out of shopping:

  • Go alone if possible – it’s safer for you, your family and others   
  • Consider doing one big shop that lasts a couple of weeks
  • Wear a mask in the shop and while queuing to get in (unless you are exempt)
  • Sanitise your hands before and after you visit 
  • Keep a 2m distance - don't be tempted to move closer as you pick up items from the shelves
  • Look but don’t touch items unless you are buying them

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said “Whilst vaccines are on the way, we must redouble our efforts to keep ourselves, our families and loved ones safe. We are in the most difficult stage so far of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the local NHS under a lot of pressure. Although people must stay at home as much as possible, many of us will still be visiting supermarkets.

“Therefore, we are asking shoppers to take real care when shopping. Always wear a face covering and keep at least two metres distance from other people. This not only protects your health, but also shows respect for the health of others. It is so important that we all play our part to get the virus under control and prevent the local NHS from being overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases.”

For more information, including details on how you can access support if you are shielding or self-isolating, please visit www.watford.gov.uk/coronavirus

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