Friday, 4 December 2020

Lining up outside of the stores is better than inside of them, Hamáček says

Prague Daily Monitor |
19 November 2020

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček expressed on Wednesday that lining up outside of the stores, in the fresh air, is better than doing so inside of them, at least from the epidemiological point of view.

Hamáček refers to the new rule which orders all stores to accommodate each customer with a 15 square meter space, hence limiting the number of people allowed inside. He suggested for people to plan their shopping in advance and avoid going all at the same time.

The new measure led to some confusion and even anger amongst the citizens. Several chains, such as Albert, adopted a new way of counting customers by giving each of them a shopping trolley. This way, they will mark the number of trolleys issued and record them to know when the capacity is reached. Occasionally, shoppers show anger when asked to take a trolley.

"Since this morning, we have heard a lot of swearing because we require customers to take one basket each. Roughly ninety percent of people understand this, but every tenth is pouring out their anger on us," a saleswoman in the Albert hypermarket in České Budějovice said, Novinky.cz reports.

Other stores, such as Tesco, use cameras to count the shoppers. Once the capacity is reached, a green screen, which shows the number of people present, turns red.

At some stores, the new rule forced people to gather in ques before the opening hour. Similarly, the stores can now be open until 9pm with many citizens postponing their shopping. Yet, the night curfew still applies at the same time.

"All measures need to be approached with a clear mind. I assume that if someone needs to visit a walking-distance store for an hour, they will go shopping ahead of time. However, the police have enough experience to evaluate a specific situation. We are not planning to persecute people who went shopping," the minister said, Novinky.cz reports.