‘Enforce corona rules in supermarkets should be better for the elderly and sick’

Wait in line, one person per household in the store and customers keeping their distance. That was the image at the supermarket at the beginning of the corona crisis, but that has changed quite a bit in recent weeks. Stakeholder organisations for the elderly and chronically ill expect action from the supermarkets.

The fact that the supermarket is becoming busier and the corona rules are no longer always followed, also sees CBL director Marc Jansen. He speaks on behalf of the supermarkets. “We also see more and more groups in the supermarket, couples, families. We have to make an appeal: people, come to the supermarket alone.”

The rules haven’t changed since March. For example, there is a maximum of one customer per ten square metres of shop space, customers are asked to keep a sufficient distance from each other, mudguards are hung up at the cash register and there are means of cleaning trolleys.

Bert van de Bult is 80 years old and doesn’t like shopping anymore. Both the supermarket staff and the visitors are much more lax, he sees:

Ouderenbond ANBO gets calls from worried members lately. “People who are at extra risk, for example due to lung disease, no longer dare to go to the supermarket”, says Liane den Haan of the union. “Ordering online is not a solution for everyone, because it is too expensive or because the order is too small.”

Ieder(in) and ANBO therefore plead for a host or hostess at the entrance of the supermarket. In March and April they were at many supermarkets, but now they have often disappeared. Trade union FNV asked for this earlier this week.

Month cap obligation

One third of supermarket owners do feel that supermarkets are obliged to wear mouth caps, as is the case in Germany and France. If the rules are enforced more effectively, such an obligation would not be necessary, according to the association for the elderly ABNO. Everyone (in) first wants the effect and usefulness of mouth masks in public spaces and shops to be investigated.

Hubert Bruls, the chairman of the Safety Council, also sees that protocols are less complied with in supermarkets. Nevertheless, he does not yet see any reason for additional enforcement. If necessary, he says, action will be taken in individual cases. For example in Noord-Deurningen, where a supermarket was fined and temporarily closed after repeated breaches of the rules. The responsibility for complying with the measures lies primarily with the supermarkets, Bruls says.