Coronavirus in Scotland: Queues outside supermarkets could return as lockdown restrictions tighten

Waiting in long queues outside supermarkets may seem like a thing of the past – but stricter rules to halt the spread of Covid-19 in Scotland could see it a become a part of everyday life once again.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 7:37 pm

That's according to the National Clinical Director, who said on Thursday that measures adopted in early lockdown need to be re-introduced in stores.

Jason Leitch said the two metre rule and one-way systems would be part of a fresh bid to “re-engage retail”.

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Speaking on the BBC's Mornings with Stephen Jardine, he said: “Retail did a great job at the end of March. The mitigations were good, but we are a bit worried some of us have dropped our guard.

Long queues outside supermarkets were a feature of early lockdown in Scotland.
Long queues outside supermarkets were a feature of early lockdown in Scotland.

“We want to spend the next 16 days making sure the sectors re-engage again and make sure the guidance is robust so we can keep these areas open.”

Mr Leitch said it was vital to keep these areas as safe as possible.

He explained: “That is why we are asking them to go back to two metre physical distancing and one way systems.

“It will mean a bit of queuing outside again, maybe the Covid officers helping with some of that.

"We need people to realise the virus is the same and it is not going away,” he added.

On Wednesday afternoon at Holyrood, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a raft of new restrictions for Scotland, including the closure of pubs, restaurants and bars in the central belt.

Usdaw, the retail union, has urged the public to “play their part and be patient, observe social distancing and show respect to shop workers”.

The union's Scottish deputy divisional officer, Tracy Gilbert, said: “With infections rising we understand why the Scottish government wants to return to the original safety guidance for shops, that we developed with the Scottish Retail Consortium, to provide staff and customers with a safer shopping experience.

“Customers need to play their part and be patient, observe social distancing and show respect to shop workers.

“Retail staff are key workers delivering essential services and that role must be valued and respected.”

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