Should supermarkets open 24 hours during #Covid19 crisis?

19 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth

Independent Cork City Councillor Cllr. Ken O’Flynn says that the key supermarket chains need to look at their opening times so that citizens can be facilitated more for social distancing and so that a round the clock vital service is available in communities.

The SuperValu franchise (owned by Cork based Musgrave group) has been praised generally this week for its useful services, but should it, and other, supermarkets have longer opening hours, who would staff this?

“I am suggesting that all of the key and major supermarket chains such as Tesco, DunnesStores, Lidl, Aldi and Super Valu should look at opening 24 hours to facilitate the nation and our citizens with immediate effect. This would have the benefit of further facilitating social distancing as well as being a local service that has now become a key one for everyone with virtually all other businesses closed or closing. I know a 24 hour model is not something that is normal for these shops but we are not in normal times now and anything that will aid the plight of people in fighting this disease needs to be done and these businesses have a vital role to play in that. With so many of our citizens out of work and at home, we need to stagger the shopping times as much as possible so that social distancing becomes the norm in supermarkets. I am so impressed with what so many of these stores are already doing with gloves and hand sanitiser for their customers at their entrances and a policy within the stores of glass shields and contactless payment promotion. There is no doubt that we are in uncharted waters now in respect of so much in our country and for our citizens and we need to look at everything, think of everything and do anything and everything to make things as easy as possible for our people as the demands on them are unprecedented..” Cllr. O’ Flynn said.

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