Coles has been accused of ignoring social distancing at one of its supermarkets. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING
Coles has been accused of ignoring social distancing at one of its supermarkets. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING

Coles store accused of breaking social distancing rules

Coles has come under attack after some shoppers claimed social distancing has been ignored at its Arana Hills supermarket.

One shopper, appalled at what she experienced on Sunday and feeling that her safety and the safety of others was put at risk, has complained to the company.

That shopper, Sarah Underwood, said staff including the manager insisted all self-service checkouts should stay open despite them being closer than 1.5m and every second one having a sign saying it was closed.

"(Staff) would not allow me to keep my distance (I and a pregnant customer were already at our registers) by moving our trolleys and adding another customer between us," she said.

"The third customer also agreed it didn't keep within the social distancing laws, however when the staff member said that they have been instructed to open all registers when there is a long line.

"Even when we requested space, it was not given."

She said the manager told her they have been told by head office that it was safer to open all registers to clear queues as opposed to people waiting for lengthy periods.

Other shoppers also commented on local social media that they had been concerned at the lack of social distancing at the supermarket on Sunday.

One said there were so many people lined up at checkouts that she walked out.

Coles would not answer questions about the Arana Hills supermarket but pointed to the Federal Government's COVID-19 hygiene practices for supermarkets document.

It states supermarkets must apply social distancing and good hygiene practices, including being able to maintain a distancing of 1.5m between people.

It also said: "Supermarkets may choose to use the 4sq m rule as a guide when defining store limits, but are not bound to this measure."

But elsewhere in the document it is stated people were unlikely to be infected if they limited face-to-face interactions to less than 15 minutes and close proximity interactions (less than 1.5m) to two hours.

A Coles' spokesman said it had introduced safety measures such as social distancing decals and steps to minimise contact such as contactless payment and customers packing their own bags.

There were also limits on the number of people allowed in stores at any time.

Originally published as Coles store accused of breaking social distancing rules


Carols, markets to provide a weekend of festive cheer

Premium Content Carols, markets to provide a weekend of festive cheer

There is plenty to do this weekend in the Lockyer Valley including markets just in...

Council holds special, closed meeting to discuss water

Premium Content Council holds special, closed meeting to discuss water

The special, closed meeting was held to discuss the water co-operatives business...

Butcher to expand into new building by mid next year

Premium Content Butcher to expand into new building by mid next year

A popular Lockyer Valley butcher outgrew its current site nine years ago, but work...