An association representing Estonian businesses has called for the public to make their required store purchases after 11 a.m., leaving the morning hours open for the elderly and other at-risk groups in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Estonian Traders' Association (Eesti Kaupmeeste Liit) chief executive Nele Peil said that: "Our first recommendation to at-risk groups is, of course, to avoid shops and other crowded places, but this is not always possible. For this reason we encourage people to show due diligence in their daily and weekly grocery shopping."
"If we go to a store after 11 a.m., we will together help protect the people most at risk from the virus, by reducing their exposure to others," she added.
Stores are not imposing controls or restrictions on store access themselves, but are asking people to show solidarity and care.
The association also calls on the public to think about who the elderly or those with health problems in the community are, and who should be helped in delivering the supplies they need.
"Retailers are very serious about preventing the spread of the virus and are doing everything they can to ensure people can make essential purchases as safely as possible."
Peil said that shops are constantly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and bulk goods are being packaged in a way to prevent customers from touching salad boxes or coffee cup 'towers', for instance. Some stores already have glass barriers installed between salespeople and customers. Stores are also displaying posters and labels with instructions for customers and are also making announcements via in-store PA systems.
The main coronavirus focus at present is to prevent the spread of the virus among the elderly and people with chronic diseases.Those over 60 are the most vulnerable group.
Editor: Andrew Whyte