Central England Co-op provides update on Covid-19 measures as part of ongoing effort to keep colleagues, customers and communities safe

Central England Co-op has provided an update on its Covid-19 measures ahead of the planned easing of restrictions on Monday 19 July.

Ahead of proposed changes announced by the Government from 19 July, the Society has announced changes that colleagues, customers and members will see in stores and funeral homes as part of ongoing efforts to keep communities safe.

The new set of measures are based on feedback from colleagues and aim to provide a responsible approach for everyone.

Food stores

  • Screens will remain at checkouts and automatic hand sanitiser stations will also remain in place at the entrance to food stores. However, the one-way systems currently in place will be removed
  • Colleagues and customers will be strongly encouraged to continue to wear face coverings when visiting our stores
  • Free masks will still be on offer to customers at hand sanitiser stations
  • Store signage will be relaunched with a new message ‘stay safe and leave a space’ and would advise people to continue to keep a safe distance from colleagues and customers where possible
  • The retailer will continue to ask customers to remove their face covering if they are wearing one when buying restricted products
  • Specialist cleaning products will continue to be used to regularly wipe down the countertops and chip and pin machines, ATMs, baskets and trolleys
  • Customers will continue to be asked to pay with card or contactless if possible

Funeral homes

  • Colleagues will continue to be asked to wear a face covering and keep to the two-metre distance rule whenever possible
  • Plastic screens will remain in limousines
  • Families will be respectfully asked to where face coverings when visiting funeral homes
  • Hand sanitiser stations will remain in place
  • Funeral arrangements can be made over the phone or via email, but there will also be the option to make an appointment in person
  • Ongoing rigorous cleaning and hygiene processes will be maintained to ensure homes are safe for everyone
  • Regular contact with families will take place in relation to any potential restrictions in terms of funeral services

Bretby Crematorium

  • Funeral numbers will be restricted to no more than 100 in the Carnarvon chapel and no more than 50 in the Anglesey
  • Families are asked to social distance where possible and it strongly advised that face coverings are worn indoors
  • There will be a gap of at least 10 minutes between services to allow for crematorium staff to ensure the chapels are ready and at their best

All these measures are subject to change at short notice if Government advice is changed.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op Chief Executive, said: “Nothing is more important to us all at Central England Cooperative than the health and safety of our colleagues and customers.

“We want to say a big thank you to our customers for their understanding and helping us to keep themselves and our colleagues safe during this pandemic.

“We are confident that we have taken all the necessary precautionary steps and today we are asking our customers and members to continue to be considerate to others at this uncertain time, follow in store messaging and Government guidance and shop responsibly.”

The retailer has also re-issued its plea for people to show ‘care, compassion and respect’ to its colleagues as they continue to work around the clock to serve their communities.

Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “During these uncertain times we all having to adapt but one thing that remains constant for us here at Central England Co-op is our zero tolerance towards all types of crime.

“We want to send a clear message out to anyone who might consider targeting our stores at this time – it is not worth the risk and no crime will be tolerated.

“We want to reiterate our plea to treat our colleagues with care, compassion and respect as they work around the clock for our communities. We want people to think long and hard about the person wearing our uniform – they will be someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandma or grandfather.

“We want people to ask themselves whether they would like their relatives to be confronted by someone in a violent or aggressive way – the answer is no and therefore why should our colleagues or anyone who works in retail have to even consider facing up to this kind of behaviour.”

Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

 

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 7,800 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 16 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

 

Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.

 

It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.

 

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 

 

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.

 

Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.

 

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

 

Phone - 01543 421390

 

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop