A Woolworths store in southwest Sydney has temporarily closed after four staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
- Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci says QR check-ins are “a tricky problem for supermarkets”
- QR code registrations have become mandatory in supermarkets from July 12
- Police minister says supermarkets have a “moral obligation” to keep customers safe
Staff members last worked at the Bankstown store between July 22 and July 31.
Woolworths closed the store as a precaution after advice from NSW Health.
Previously, NSW police had asked supermarkets to employ people to apply QR registration codes.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott said police contacted supermarket bosses this morning to tell them “they must employ security guards”.
“It takes some logic and it’s a logical step as far as I know,” he told Nine Radio.
“What we’re going to tell the supermarkets at 10 am is that they have to employ security guards.”
Mr Elliott said supermarkets would be told “exactly what is expected of them” and that some supermarkets had failed to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance with QR codes.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian disagreed with Mr Elliott, saying police are responsible for carrying out compliance checks.
“Obviously the police are doing compliance checks, but as Dr Chant and the health boards say, we want as little human contact as possible,” she said.
“So QR codes are there for people to use, but even having a janitor is a risk as Dr Chant said earlier.
“Police are patrolling and making sure compliance is there, but as little human-to-human contact as possible is required.”
Businesses and the police are divided on the responsibility of enforcing the rules.
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said QR registrations were a “tricky problem for supermarkets”.
He said it shouldn’t be on the supermarkets to enforce the law, as it would put workers at risk.
“We encourage and encourage clients to register, but we don’t enforce it and that’s because we can’t put our team at risk in these scenarios,” Mr. Banducci said.
“We have to encourage and incite, but we are not enforcing, so if a client sees someone without a mask, please do not remove it from a member of our team.
“It is not their role. It is the role of the police.”
QR code registrations became mandatory in supermarkets, retail stores and workplaces from July 12.
Mr Elliott said supermarkets have a “moral obligation to your customers to make sure they are safe”.
“The main places where there have been contact and exhibition sites have been supermarkets, so it doesn’t make sense for supermarkets not to want to comply with QR codes and their use by their customers, and it doesn’t make sense to me. so people don’t want to use them, ”Elliott said.
Speaking on 2GB, Mr Elliott was asked about NSW Health bureaucrats who would be reluctant to enforce compliance for fear it could create bottlenecks at supermarket doors.
“I don’t mind. I spoke with a few people this morning about it,” he said.
The Police Minister said his local Woolworths in Baulkham Hills had a staff member responsible for ensuring customers checked in and the store had 12 QR codes distributed throughout the store.
“Anyone suggesting that we don’t want a concierge build-up or that we don’t want people crowding around the QR code, with a security guard there, they will ensure social distancing as well as compliance with the QR code. . “
Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra said he supported mandatory registrations but was concerned about the safety and well-being of supermarket staff.
“Assault on customers has been a big problem for retail staff throughout the pandemic and this problem is escalated each time new measures are introduced,” he said.
Mr Zahra said enforcement of the rules should not be the responsibility of supermarket workers.
“Law enforcement… is the responsibility of the proper authorities and cannot be done by the retail staff themselves. “
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