On Tuesday morning Cactus Bascharage was as busy as a Saturday with shoppers calmly stocking up on essentials
Shoppers visiting supermarkets in the south on Tuesday were greeted with business as usual, with some glaring differences.
Cactus group on Monday announced that in addition to applying all health ministry instructions it had added further measures to curb the virus’ spread, such as giving priority to card payments, providing floor markings at the check-out suggesting a precautionary buffer between queuing customers and increased staffing to ensure a ready supply of goods.
Delano visited its Bascarage and Esch-sur-Alzette stores on Tuesday morning to find well-stocked shelves, and even toilet paper. In Bascharage it almost seemed to be business as usual with labourers doing renovation works outside. Indoors, shoppers respected the separation while queueing, meaning that some lines spanned over 30 metres.
Photo shows a sign at Cora Foetz urging customers to keep a 2-metre distance from one another. Photo: Delano
On the whole the atmosphere was calm. The situation was similar in Esch-sur-Alzette where staff explained the regulations clearly and calmly. Some wore disposable gloves but as one cashier told me, the essential thing is handwashing and following the measures outlined by the government such as avoiding touching one’s face and sneezing into the elbow crook.
I passed a queue outdoors at a nearby pharmacy where customers told me that no more than two customers were being allowed inside at any time. The queue was moving fast and they did not seem disgruntled as they stood in the sun.
There was a stark contrast in customer numbers at Cora Foetz at noon where footfall was much lower. A cashier explained that much of their clientèle lived over the border and would have returned home before the strengthened border controls came into force at noon.
The last loo rolls at Lidl Foetz. Most shops had a ready supply, however. Photo: Delano
Large signs urged customers to complete their shopping as quickly as possible and access to the shop was limited to two entrances and exits (down from four) which were closely monitored by security. All shelves were well stocked, including the toilet paper aisle.
Toilet paper supplies were lower at the nearby Lidl Foetz but generally shelves were well-stocked throughout.
A Lidl spokesperson said on Tuesday that starting Wednesday shoppers will be asked to use a shopping trolley (baskets to be removed), respect a distance between themselves of at least the length of one trolley. Card payment will become the general rule and priority will be given to senior citizens from 8:30am to 9:30am.
Staff will regularly clean trolleys, tills and payment terminals and cashiers will be given the option of wearing gloves.
Despite the fact that I saw some customers loading large volumes of non-perishable goods into cars outside all four shops, there was also an abundant supply still in shops.
Following Delano’s visits, all of the supermarket companies were contacted for comment.