COUNTDOWN | Kiri Hannifin, General Manager Health and Safety

"As New Zealand goes into lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Countdown stores will remain open as an essential service.

From Wednesday, 25 March, all Countdown stores will be introducing additional measures to ensure we can continue to keep our stores teams and customers safe.  These include:

Limiting the number of customers in our store at any one time. The number allowed will depend on the size of the store and will be managed via security.  The number of people per store will be dependent on the size of a store. This action means customers can maintain physical distance between each other and our team.

Closing every second self service checkout and every second checkout. This will again ensure we are providing enough space for customers to maintain a physical distance from each other and our team.

Customers will need to pack their own groceries, temporarily. This will help speed up the check out process and ensure we can move customers through our stores quickly and efficiently, and keep any queues of people outside our stores moving. It will also limit the handling of items being bought.

Perspex screens at checkout rolling out in stores. These screens will help protect both team and customers from any sneezes or coughs, and will begin being rolled out in our stores from tomorrow.

We are asking customers to use paywave wherever possible. This will help cut down on the handling of bank cards.

These new measures are in addition to the other changes many customers will have seen in place already,  including new markings at the checkouts, which provide a physical distancing guide.

We understand that for some people, these changes will be unsettling but we want to do all we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  We’re determined to keep providing New Zealanders with access to our stores, while also making sure we’re providing our team and customers a safe and healthy environment to shop in."