Netherby Four Square owner Shaun McFadden says customers are respectful of the health and safety measures around his store.

Essential service providers have been flat out attending to the needs of the community during lockdown.

Medical personnel, emergency services, pharmacies and essential food suppliers and services supporting the farming sector continue to operate.

Among them is Netherby Four Square supermarket, which has changed its business hours to meet ongoing demand but to also keep staff protected.

Owner Shaun McFadden said the new hours gave staff time to restock the shelves without people in store.

Mr McFadden said it had been very busy but as the country went into lockdown it had settled down “a bit”.

The new hours (from 7am to 7pm on weekdays and 8am to 7pm at weekends) will be monitored to see how trade goes.

“If people are out and about, we will fit people’s needs.”

The supermarket has been able to function with its existing staff and supply of product was good. Government has reinforced messages that supply chains to supermarkets are intact.

Mr McFadden said customers have been respectful instore of the new process; hand sanitiser at the door, arrows on the floor to direct inward customers and people maintaining a distance from others instore.

The company has installed Perspex screens as a way to keep a physical distance between counter staff and customers, and were encouraging cashless payment with eftpos or payWave options as a way to prevent spreading the virus through money transactions.

They were also continuing their delivery option with people able to email

People were obviously concerned about Covid-19 and being out, but mostly everyone had shown a good attitude to the lockdown and compliance, he said.

Dairies are adopting a one-in, one-out policy and larger supermarkets are also limiting numbers so shoppers can keep at least 2m away from each other.

Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates is advising shoppers to practise low-touch shopping.

“Do not handle things you are not buying, keep your distance, be aware of how you are touching things like bank cards, money, ATMs and eftpos machines. Wash your hands after touching things like this as soon as you can.”

He said people in business or providing a service should have increased their cleaning routine in between customers.

People needed to try to put a physical distance of at least two metres between themselves and other people in public spaces, such as supermarkets, he said.

“Be kind to others. Make it easy for them to keep 2m from you you in a supermarket queue, and stay 2m back from counters and reception desks.”

People who are unwell should not go to public places.

Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms and have undertaken any overseas travel in the past 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19. Please do not go directly to a pharmacy, GP clinic, urgent care centre or emergency department.

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