No mask, no service?

Face-covering rules don’t apply everywhere

By Connor Linskey
Posted 5/20/20

James Hiller, a resident of Walden, is outraged by the Hannaford Supermarket in Walden’s mask policy. He claims that the store regularly lets in customers with no masks on.

On a recent trip …

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No mask, no service?

Face-covering rules don’t apply everywhere

Posted

James Hiller, a resident of Walden, is outraged by the Hannaford Supermarket in Walden’s mask policy. He claims that the store regularly lets in customers with no masks on.

On a recent trip there, he noticed three shoppers without masks. He also criticized the signage on the store’s front door for not clearly telling customers in large font size to wear a face covering. His frustration has caused him to shop elsewhere.

“Never again,” Hiller said about shopping at Hannaford Supermarket in Walden. “ShopRite has a strict mask policy and I’m bringing my business back there.”

He wants the supermarket to address wearing masks like ShopRite and Tops Friendly Markets have. Employees at those stores enforce wearing a mask and keeping the building uncrowded.

“Our associates aren’t enforcing this with individual shoppers but we strongly request our customers’ help in keeping our associates and customers healthy,” Hannaford Supermarkets said over Facebook.

While they do not enforce customers to wear masks, the chain has implemented a temporary requirement that all store associates wear facial coverings, including masks and face shields. They ask that their customers wear face coverings while shopping in their stores, unless they’re medically unable to do so.

In addition, Hannaford has implemented a social distancing plan to help keep employees and customers safe. Social distancing measures include signage prompts for customers and associates to maintain a six-foot distancing rule, which includes spacing decals at the pharmacy and at checkouts; overhead intercom prompts; plexiglass protection barriers installed between cashiers and customers; limiting contact during check out and product delivery modifications to ensure social distancing between associates and vendors. The chain has limited the number of customers allowed in the store at one time to 115. One-way aisles have been implemented and many of the store’s associates are wearing yellow vests which encourage six-foot social distancing rules.

“We conduct rigorous cleaning procedures throughout our store, including offering sanitizing wipes at entryways; keeping bathrooms well-maintained and regularly sanitizing PIN pads, grocery conveyor belts and other high-touch points,” said Hannaford Supermarkets Spokesperson Eric Blom. “These processes and safeguards are informed by the CDC and we will continue to evolve and improve those practices as circumstances change.”

Hannaford asks customers to shop alone or with as few people as absolutely necessary for their trip. The chain recommends that customers make one larger trip, rather than several smaller ones and recommends they try to visit the store during off-hours. Their busiest times are 4-6 p.m. weekdays, Saturday mornings and early Sunday afternoons. Hannaford Supermarkets are also busy daily when they first open.

Though Hannaford has implemented many social distancing regulations within its stores, Hiller still believes those without masks should not be allowed in the store.

“Frankly, by having people walk into that store without masks on they’re putting all of their employees at risk including their customers too by not giving them the means to enforce the governor’s law,” he said.

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