Suffolk public sector leaders warn to limit supermarket trips

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Supermarkets are safe - but shoppers should still follow basic rule say Suffolk's public sector leaders. - Credit: Phil Morley

Take care when you get to the supermarket - and follow the rules to stay safe  . . .  even if you've had your first Covid injection.

That's the blunt message from Suffolk's public sector leaders who fear people could be tempted into making too many visits to their local supermarkets - risking spreading the new variant of the disease.

Supermarkets are among the few shops that can continue trading during the lockdown but members of the Suffolk Resilience Forum are anxious to ensure that the people don't see a trip to them is seen as an excuse for a social activity.

While they say that supermarkets are safe, they do urge people to obey all the new rules for shopping - go on your own, sanitise your hands, follow the arrows around the store, maintain social distancing and always wear face coverings unless you have a medical exemption.

And they urge people to cut down on the number of times they visit stores - even if they have had a vaccination.

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Suffolk’s councils have been working with local stores, to ensure that staff and customers are doing what they can to prevent the virus moving from person to person. Supermarkets have received written advice and guidance, and council teams have been carrying out visits to talk with workers and shoppers.

The Safer Places Working group of the Suffolk Resilience Forum, has been helping co-ordinate support for supermarkets.

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David Collinson, co-lead for the group, said: “I want to thank supermarkets and other stores for all they are doing to keep both shoppers and staff safe and able to buy essential goods.

"The latest variation of Covid-19 is transmitting much more easily and sadly we have seen more people dying. So it’s incredibly important for stores and customers to do everything possible to keep each other safe, and ultimately save lives. We all have that responsibility.”

Graham Crisp, co-lead for the group, added: “Our main role is to support businesses to understand the national guidance and how to keep their staff and customers safe.

"From visits that we have made, our experience is that the majority of stores have been good at responding to this and we continue to support businesses to be as safe as possible.

"But customers and stores are reminded that, although a last resort, enforcement is an option which can lead to fines or closures.”

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