Woolworths is 'strongly' encouraging the use of face masks in its stores in New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT as coronavirus cases rise

(Photo by Hugh Peterswald/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Woolworths is “strongly” encouraging staff and customers across in its stores in New South Wales, ACT and Queensland to wear face coverings.
  • It comes as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise.
  • Face coverings in Woolworths stores have been mandatory in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and this will extend to the rest of Victoria from Sunday.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Woolworths is urging customers across its stores in New South Wales, the ACT and Queensland to wear face masks in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

With the rising number of coronavirus cases in NSW and ACT, the supermarket is “strongly” encouraging customers and workers in those areas to wear face coverings from August 3. The recommendation also extends to hot spots in Queensland starting from August 1.

The face covering recommendation applies to Woolworths supermarkets as well as Big W, BWS, Dan Murphy’s and ALH Hotels. The company will be providing face coverings to its workers.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said in a statement the safety of customers, workers and communities is a major priority for the company.

“Even though wearing a face covering is not mandatory in NSW, ACT or Queensland, as the largest private sector employer with stores in almost every community, we feel it’s important we lead the way in helping reduce community transmission of COVID-19,” he said. “We’re asking our teams to lead by example, and this includes our Group Executive Team.”

In New South Wales, 18 coronavirus cases were recorded on July 29. The state also identified coronavirus cases in venues including Apollo Restaurant Potts Point, Matinee Coffee in Marrickville and even a Fitness First in St Leonards.

In Victoria, face coverings are mandatory for Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, which includes Woolworths stores. On Thursday, Victoria recorded 723 new coronavirus cases and 13 deaths, with premier Daniel Andrews announcing that face coverings will be mandatory across the state from Sunday.

“I understand this will be a big step for some. But by covering your face, you’re protecting your community, and protecting those extra freedoms your community enjoys,” Andrews said at the time.

READ MORE:

  • Woolworths and Coles have once again reinstated purchase limits in Victoria, as Melbourne heads for lockdown
  • One of Australia’s only surgical-grade face mask producers says it is worried about Melbourne’s compulsory mask rule, as it is already struggling to meet demand
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