Shock over shoppers while social distancing rules remain

PEOPLE in the community have expressed concern over the number of residents shopping and browsing while social distancing rules remain in place.

Jan Hingston said she had been in isolation for weeks and was horrified when she finally left her house to go to the doctor.

“Here we are obeying the rules and when we went to town we couldn’t believe the traffic going down Bourbong,” Ms Hingston said.

“We ended up finding a park near the RSL and I raced into Priceline and people were just browsing in the different stores.”

Ms Hingston said she and her husband had been isolating because they were at risk, so it was horrifying seeing so many people out and about in the CBD.

“My husband is very high risk because he has a medical condition and I am a semi risk because we are both over 70,” she said.

Ms Hingston said their daughter had been dropping over groceries and they lived in a retirement village where everybody had also been staying home.

Other members of the community had also expressed concern over the number of people in Coles and BIG W over the weekend and the lack of social distancing enforcement in the stores.

Regarding the community’s concern a spokesperson from Big W said the safety of customers and their families was their top priority.

“We have also introduced customer limits and our store greeters and security guards manage a ‘one in, and one out’ system at BIG W Bundaberg,” the spokesperson said.

“We encourage our customers to continue following all social distancing prompts available in our stores.

“If ever our customers are concerned about store practices, we would encourage them to speak with the store manager so these matters can be addressed.”

A spokesperson from Coles said they had social distancing measures implemented to ensure the safety of the community.

“As well as introducing social distancing decals in stores and measures that minimise contact, like contactless payment and customers packing their own bags, we have introduced limits when the stores are busy on how many customers can be in a Coles store at any one time,” the spokesperson said.

“Team members and security guards are at store entrances to provide assistance and let customers know when it is okay to come in.

“We continue to work closely with the Australian Government to review our health and safety arrangements in line with their recommendations.”

Currently, the Australian Government’s advice for COVID-19 hygiene practices for supermarkets does not enforce a rule for customer limits but said people should be able to maintain 1.5m apart where possible.

“Supermarkets may choose to use the four square metre rule as a guide when defining store limits, but are not bound to this measure,” the document says.