ARA retailers align on voluntary introduction of Face Coverings within COVID-19 infection hot spots outside

Peak retail body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has called on retailers to strongly recommend the use of face coverings by staff and customers to protect their health and safety within stores in national hotspots including parts of New South Wales along with the state of Victoria where significant COVID-19 outbreaks are occurring.

Retailers that have committed to the protocol include: Bunnings, Woolworths (including Woolworths Supermarkets, Big W, Dan Murphy’s and BWS) Amazon Australia, Chemist Warehouse, Coles, Costco, Cotton On Group, Country Road, David Jones, Harvey Norman, JBHiFi, Kmart, McDonalds, Mecca, Myer, Officeworks, Priceline, 7-Eleven, Super Retail Group (Rebel, Super Cheap Auto, MacPac, BCF), Target, The Good Guys, representing the country’s largest private employer groups.

The ARA is encouraging all retailers to follow-suit as COVID-19 infection rates continue to spike around the country. Global retail giants Aldi, Apple, Costco, Lowes, McDonalds, Starbucks and Walmart are amongst those who took this step in the US in July. Source.

ARA CEO Mr Paul Zahra said: “Masks are now a focus globally as an important means of reducing the risk of infection for staff and customers as infections continue to spike. We are asking retailers around the country to introduce a store protocol which strongly encourages their use to help us get ahead of the infection rates.”

Mr Zahra said retailers have demonstrated consistent leadership during the crisis, setting standards and direction on hygiene, health and safety protocols.

“Retailers have worked hard to protect their staff and customers and have kept hygiene standards very high within their stores. We anticipate that tougher restrictions including mandatory face coverings are around the corner for other states and territories unless we see a reversal of current trends,” he said.

“We know a lot more than we did during the first wave about what works. Certain protocols are vital and they are effective – including hand sanitiser, social distancing and face coverings.

“Retailers are committed to providing a safe work and shopping environment – often at significant cost. It’s important that all parties work together to reduce the risks,’ he said.

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