Tesco precautions in place
The manager of the biggest supermarket in Orkney says that the public have been very understanding of the coronavirus restrictions which are now in place at the store.
Andy Tennant at Tesco in Kirkwall said that various changes have now been made, which has seen a one way system introduced, and customers being keep at least two metres apart.
The shop floor has been marked into zones, with only one customer permitted per zone at a time, and only every second checkout area is now open, as well as a new queuing system in place.
Screens at checkouts should be in place later next week.
“The staff are very much in the front line and are aware of it. Like the whole of the UK we are struggling to get PPE (personal protective equipment), so it is tricky,” he added.
On stock levels, following earlier panic buying in the UK, he said that fresh food lines have fully recovered, whereas the full supply of items such as household cleaners, toilet roll, pasta and cereals are taking a little longer to fully recover, although they are still coming through the supply chain in more limited numbers, and should be fully recovered in around two weeks.
Mr Tennant said that the store is now employing around 40 extra staff to handle the extra workload, which has been welcomed in the community, with so many other businesses having to shut down due to restrictions.
On opening hours changes, he said that the store was now open 8am-10pm Monday-Saturday, 10am-10pm Sunday.
However, he had taken the decision to open 9am-10am on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings for NHS and care workers only, and 9am-10am Monday, Wednesday and Friday for vulnerable people and the elderly.
He said that this would be the case for the foreseeable future as the lockdown restrictions continue.
The Orcadian Facebook page also features a pinned post showcasing numerous local shops around the islands, all of which are doing a fantastic job rallying to support folk at this unprecedented time of need.