Maxima and Rimi stores introduce barriers at checkouts

To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and help protect employees, on March 17 Rimi and Maxima stores started setting up barriers at check-out.

That's what the companies told the press. "We plan to introduce [the barriers] in all stores by the end of the week," said Maxima Latvija head Viktors Troicins. 

In addition, the stores have introduced social distancing measures across the interior of the store, such as at fruit and vegetable stands. 

Some stores have cut working hours to make time for disinfection measures. Clients are asked to use carts if possible as these create a barrier between customers. 

Rimi stores have introduced similar measures. In addition, people at risk such as expecting women, disabled people and seniors are asked to shop between 8 and 10 a.m. while others are urged not to attend the stores at this time. 

"We ask the rest of the public to adhere to the special grocery hours and choose another time to visit the stores," said Rimi Latvia representative Kristīne Ciemīte. 

The chain also introduced priority shopping hours between 08:00 and 10:00 at its stores for pensioners and people with disabilities and special needs. Other members of the public are asked to respect this and shop at other hours.

Members of the public are also invited to use contactless card payments where possible too.

Other supermrket chains have also introduced similar measures in response to government advice on the matter, designed to assure "social distancing" can be maintained even during social interactions.

Meanwhile the restaurant and retailer chain Lido will close in all locations. 

"We serve 20 to 30 thousand customers daily. Sadly, in the current situation, even if we observe all safety measures and enforce strict hygiene, we can't be 100% sure that our employees will be protected from the disease. That's why we've taken a difficult but very responsible decision to close all Lido restaurants for a time regardless of the financial consequences and keeping in mind our responsibility towards the state," said Lido founder Gunārs Ķirsons.

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