The Hannaford Supermarket chain says it is taking several new steps to protect customers and employees from the spread of COVID-19, including the installation of Plexiglass barriers in front of cash registers.
President Mike Vail outlined the company's plan Friday inside its Scarborough store, showing off the new barriers, as well as increased signage and markers along the floor dictating how far customers should keep their distance from each other while in the check out line. Vail says the goal is to improve the safety of employees.
"They're not able to work out of home, in the retail environment,” says Vail. “So we're very worried for our associates, and taking as many precautions as we can to make it safe for them.”
Vail says the company has also increased pay for employees and is hiring more in an effort to meet demand, as he says business has risen by more than 50 percent.
The company is also planning to relaunch a version of its "Hannaford To Go" pickup service next week and is also discussing options that include limiting customers in its stores, if needed.
“We will monitor and limit people if we cannot deliver on what we understand to be the expectations around social distancing,” Vail says. “And we will certainly comply with any mandates issued by the governor's office.”
On Tuesday, Gov. Janet Mills issued recommendations for grocery stores, such as customer limits and increased pickup and delivery services, in order to limit the spread of the virus.