COVID-19 Safety Tips for Standing in Queues
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are essential tasks, such as grocery shopping, which we still need to perform. It necessitates us leaving the safety of our homes even when in the highest level of lockdown. This is when social distancing becomes most imperative.
Fortunately, retail outlets which are open for business must adhere to some strict rules. For example: they should read your temperature with an infrared thermometer as you enter the store; they must provide an effective hand sanitiser for shoppers to clean their hands and trolley handles at the entrance; wearing masks in the store is compulsory; and last but not least, they can only allow a limited number of shoppers into the store at one time.
The reason for this is so that shoppers can practise social distancing at all times. This also goes for the people waiting in the queue at the entrance. In fact, most stores have demarcated areas where shoppers can stand 1.5m apart while they wait in the queue.
What other etiquette should we be practicing whilst waiting outside shop entrances? Here are our 6 most sensible tips to help keep both you and your fellow citizens safe whilst queueing:
- Wear your mask and wear it properly. In other words, don’t go through the motions of wearing a mask and then end up with it dangling under your chin or from your ear just because you feel agitated with it covering your nose and mouth. The whole point of wearing a mask is to keep these two areas covered at all times while out in public to minimise the spread of viral droplets. Practise wearing your mask at home until you feel used to it. Get your children to practise this, too.
- Practise social distancing. Stand 1.5m apart from the person in front of you. If someone encroaches on your space, you have every right to politely ask them to step back and provide the correct distance. Teach your children to practise social distancing. It will be quite challenging with smaller children as they get restless and will want to move around while waiting in the queue. Why not offer them a reward if they stay next to you. Once they are inside the shop, they can choose a small treat.
- Use your trolley as a physical barrier. This is one of the main reasons why many shops have done away with baskets and only allow you to use a trolley. It’s to create an automatic distance between the shoppers. If you feel you need that barrier in the queue outside, then by all means grab a trolley to use while waiting in line.
- Be patient and polite. Waiting in long queues can really test our patience but we need to remind ourselves that we are doing it to protect ourselves as well as keep our fellow citizens safe, too. The shop employees at the entrance of the store who are letting you into the shop, taking your temperature and assisting you with hand and trolley sanitising are simply doing their job. Choose to be polite and thankful rather than impatient, or rude and abrupt. Remember, we are all in this together.
- Coughing and sneezing etiquette. By now, we all know how important it is to cough and sneeze into the crook of our elbow. We must do this even while wearing a mask. When you are about to cough or sneeze, turn away from the people in the queue and do it into the crook of your elbow.
- Avoid taking the elderly and children shopping unless absolutely necessary.
For more information please contact:
Telephone: +27 87 087 0600
Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.