A growing number of retailers are installing plexiglass barriers to protect its cashiers.
The shields are being added at checkout lanes to protect employees and customers from a coronavirus infection.
Florida-based Publix, the nation’s fifth-largest grocery chain, said it will install the plexiglass barriers at all of its 1,200 locations, including the 13 in the Richmond area, in the next two weeks. The plexiglass partitions will be added at the cash registers, customer service desks and pharmacies.
“We’re taking extra precautions for the well-being of our customers and associates,” spokeswoman Maria Brous said.
To further promote physical distancing amid coronavirus, chains including Kroger, Walmart, Whole Foods and Lidl are among retailers across the country installing the so-called sneeze guards.
Kroger said it many of its stores are beginning the installation process this week and it anticipates every checkout lane having a partition, including pharmacy counters, within the next several weeks.
Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional supermarket retailer, also is allowing employees to wear protective masks and gloves while working.
“There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment like this, and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need,” Kroger said in a statement. “We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers — after health care workers — to have access to protective masks and gloves.”
German grocery chain Lidl, which has six stores in the Richmond area, said it is installing plexiglass at all of its U.S. stores in the next two weeks.
“We are constantly updating our cleaning and protective processes to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Lidl said in a statement.
Grocery stores have seen their business soar as authorities urge people to go out only for essentials, prompting them to cook more at home. The stores have been extremely busy and been forced to have reduced hours to give workers more time to clean and restock as products fly off the shelves.