Jersey’s major supermarkets are meeting today as part of joint efforts to get islanders to “shop sensibly” as shelves empty in the face of the corona virus outbreak.
Leaders from the key shopping chains will be meeting with the Jersey Consumer Council – the panel which represents local consumers’ needs – to send a joint message about the negative impacts of panic-buying.
Representatives from CI Co-Operative, Iceland, Morrisons, Tesco Alliance and Waitrose will meet with the Council to find a way to dissuade shoppers from buying in bulk.
The Council’s Chairman announced the meeting on social media, saying that the aim of the meeting is to “send a clear and direct message to consumers that bulk buying is not necessary and harmful to the vulnerable and those paid weekly".
I am pleased to report that the leaders of the big supermarkets in Jersey have all agreed to meet @JerseyConsumer tomorrow so that we can send a clear & direct message to consumers that bulk buying is not necessary & harmful to the vulnerable & those paid weekly. #shopsensibly pic.twitter.com/6ilG9vr1gD— Carl Walker (@CarlWalker7) March 15, 2020
The Government of Jersey are urging islanders to “only buy what you need” and “consider others” whilst shopping for provisions. The Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf has also warned against panic-buying at a press conference over the weekend.
Meanwhile, other local businesses are taking steps to respond to the virus outbreak. Many retail outlets are discouraging payments in cash to keep contact to a minimum.
Some cafés have opted to leave their doors open to reduce potential contamination of door handles, with other measures including asking those who don’t feel well not to visit their shop and restricting the use of reusable coffee cups.
A La Motte Street-based opticians has asked that anyone trying on glasses to leave them to be disinfected rather than placing them back on the shelf.
Pictured: One optician in town is asking for customers trying on glasses to leave them to be disinfected afterwards.
Other businesses, such as Great Catch Seafood are being affected rather differently by the virus outbreak.
Suffering a hit to its European export sales, the sustainable fishery is calling for islanders to shop local to support small businesses amid growing fears over the contagion.
Posting on social media, Great Catch wrote: “Fishing businesses are now at huge risk as we can no longer sell our catch – mine included. I think it is really important that the public shop as local as possible during the corona virus pandemic to help small businesses during the hard times.”
Whilst many are confronted with empty shelves in the supermarkets, other sellers of local produce are following suit.
The Sustainable Co-operative (SCOOP) is now offering deliveries of its organic produce for those who are self-isolating.
Jersey people are being asked to self-isolate if they have symptoms, only those who have been directly referred via the corona virus helpline (01534 445566) will be swabbed at the island's recently-opened dedicated facility in Five Oaks.
Open from 08:30 until 14:30 daily, the centre will not be accessible to the general public.
Pictured: Empty shelves at Co-op Grand Marché in St. Helier yesterday.
Only patients suffering flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, headache and muscle aches), who have been referred via the corona virus helpline will be allowed to attend.
Islanders suffering such symptoms are urged to self-isolate for a minimum of seven days until they are symptom-free - whether they have recently travelled to an affected country or been in contact with anyone with covid-19 or not.
Over 65s who have been social-distancing also do not need to call unless they have symptoms.
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