Welwyn Garden City shopper ‘worried’ by relaxing of two-metre rule at Hatfield Tesco

PUBLISHED: 12:40 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:53 01 July 2020

It has been claimed that social distancing measures have been relaxed at the Tesco store in Birchwood, Hatfield. Picture: Paul Clark.

It has been claimed that social distancing measures have been relaxed at the Tesco store in Birchwood, Hatfield. Picture: Paul Clark.

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A shopper from Welwyn Garden City has been left worried by the relaxing of the two-metre social distancing rule at the Tesco store in Hatfield.

It has been claimed that social distancing measures have been relaxed at the Tesco store in Birchwood, Hatfield. Picture: Paul Clark. It has been claimed that social distancing measures have been relaxed at the Tesco store in Birchwood, Hatfield. Picture: Paul Clark.

After returning home from food shopping yesterday, Paul Clark said his trip to Tesco left him worried and was surprised to discover that some of the COVID-19 precautions have been removed at the superstore.

Mr Clark said: “There is no queuing system to get in, all the barriers and floor markings have been removed and no one is on the door to control entry numbers or clean the trolley handles.”

He also said the two-metre distance markers have been removed from the shop – days before the relaxation of the rules to one-metre plus on July 4 – and the one-way arrows have also gone.

As he’s in his 60s, a little overweight and male, he’s very concerned about catching coronavirus and the effect that will have on his health.

It has been claimed that social distancing measures have been relaxed at the Tesco store in Birchwood, Hatfield. Picture: Paul Clark. It has been claimed that social distancing measures have been relaxed at the Tesco store in Birchwood, Hatfield. Picture: Paul Clark.

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He added: “The shop looks exactly the way it did before lockdown and this is sending the dangerous message to customers that everything is back to normal, and ‘COVID-19 has gone from Hatfield’.

“This is a very delicate time when we are lifting some restrictions, but sending the wrong message by removing all the sensible precautions that we have got used to, could start a local spike in infections. There were some cleaning products by one entrance and a cleaning station in the store but no one felt the need to use them because the store looks back to normal.

“I have had the opportunity to speak to the duty store manger, and he said this shop has been asked to trial the measures that will be in place after the July 4. So the store is testing the one-metre plus rules ahead of the government date. Is it okay for Tesco’s to relax the social distancing measures as a trial?”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “The safety of our colleagues and customers is our top priority. We’re currently reviewing the guidance from the government and our Hatfield store will continue to provide cleaning stations and operate clear social distancing measures in the meantime.”

Government guidelines state food business should ensure social distancing of two metres but do not requires stores to stick to this policy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on June 24 that people should from from July 4 “keep a social distance of one metre plus” when they cannot be more than two metres apart.


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