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Changes coming to Sobeys and Safeway to protect against coronavirus

Last Updated Mar 20, 2020 at 9:35 am MDT

Sobeys grocery stores are taking further steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among customers and staff. A Sobeys grocery store is seen in Halifax on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Buying your groceries has now changed because of COVID-19 and a major chain is taking more steps to try and prevent the virus from spreading.

“We understand we are an essential service to all Canadians,” said the CEO of Sobeys/Safeway Canada in a letter posted on Twitter. “We are doing everything in our power to maintain our stores to the highest level of cleanliness and safety.”

Sobeys has mandated several changes including requiring workers to wash their hands every 15 minutes and having cashiers wipe down common areas more often.

The stores will also have floor markers at check-out lines to ensure shoppers are staying at least two metres apart and plexiglass shields will be put up in front of cashiers.

The hours of operation have also changed to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to allow more time to clean and sanitize and restock shelves.

Other grocery stores including some Save-On Foods and No Frills locations have also reduced hours on top of allowing seniors and vulnerable people to shop one hour before opening.