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How supermarket chains across SA are ramping up coronavirus safety

  • Staff Writer: Anelisa Kubheka

It was not clear when Checkers at Ballito Junction would re-open, but employees were on site being temperature screened.

On Tuesday 14/04/2020 the store closed its doors after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. 


The Shoprite Group said all returning employees on Wednesday would be temperature tested and that the mobile clinic would remain on-site until testing was done. 

The Daily News learnt testing was still in progress with all employees inside the store on Wednesday afternoon. Managers were apparently tested first. Prior to the national lockdown announcement, employees were not wearing masks, but these were worn thereafter. 

However a KwaDukuza resident who was at the store at the weekend claimed he did not see employees wearing masks. When the national lockdown was announced, some companies opted for employees to take leave. 

Checkers Ballito staff who had close contact with the infected person are now in self-quarantine for 14 days. They have been asked to remain at home until further notice. 

This is the third store in the group to close in a week after two were closed in Cape Town. A Woolworths spokesperson said the company was prepared should stores be placed a similar situation. 

The company said the health and safety of people was a priority. “We will put precautionary measures in place, in line with our procedures for these type of incidents. The store would be closed for extensive deep cleaning, and all our people who were in contact with the employee would be placed in self-quarantine for 14 days as guided by Department of Health and their health would be monitored by our specialist health provider,” a spokesperson said. 

Spar Group spokesperson Mandy Hogan said the health of customers and staff remained a priority at all Spar stores. 

“Our stores have been unfailingly diligent in implementing measures to limit the risk of Covid-19 transmission. Rigorous preventative health and safety protocols include daily temperature checks, social distancing, the use of masks, deep cleaning, sanitiser and perspex sheet protection at tills. 

"This has, fortunately, limited the risk of infection across our network of over 1 000 stores.” 

Pick n Pay said its staff had been equipped with prevention measures, including strict hygiene rules and practices. 

The company said it had a clear protocol for staff to follow should they feel unwell, or have been in close proximity to someone diagnosed positive for the coronavirus. “This includes self-quarantining for 14 days if required. Our prevention measures in-store include transparent perspex screens at all till points and floor markers so physical distancing can be maintained. 

"We are making non-surgical face masks available to front-line staff, following new guidance from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health,” it said.

Daily News