SUPERDRUG is reducing its opening hours to give staff a break during the coronavirus outbreak.
Many retailers, including McDonald's and Greggs, have temporarily closed their doors after the government ordered all non-essential stores to shut down to help stop the spread of the virus.
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Pharmacies, such as Superdrug, are considered to provide essential services, such as dispensing medicines and selling goods such as baby milk, nappies and hand wash, so will continue to keep their doors open in the future where possible.
But the retailer has decided to cut its opening hours and even close some stores to help staff manage throughout the lockdown.
Perspex screens have already been put up at till points and at pharmacy counters to protect staff from catching the virus from customers.
Extra card-only tills have also opened to encourage customers to avoid paying with cash, which the World Health Organisation say help spread COVID-19.
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Customers have also been asked to observe social distancing rules – where people must stand at least two metres, or six feet, apart, and in some stores the number of shoppers allowed in at any one time will be limited.
All testers, including make up, have also been removed from the stores.
In an email to customers, CEO Peter Macnab said: "Our priority is always the health and wellbeing of our team and our customers and we are doing everything we can to provide the right service to everyone."
What are Superdrug's opening hours?
Superdrug is reducing its opening hours to between 10am and 5pm.
This is to allow enough time for staff to deep clean the stores and stock shelves in preparation for the next day.
Mr Macnab also emphasised that shorter hours will give staff enough "to rest".
Which stores will continue to open?
Superdrug is aiming to keep all stores open during the lockdown, particularly in areas where it is necessary to support the local community, for example, in places where it is the only pharmacy.
But it also said that stores won't open if there isn't enough staff to operate the shop safely.
It's not clear exactly which stores these maybe but the retail says that it is constantly reviewing the situation on a branch by branch basis.
The retailer will be clarifying on its website and via its Facebook and Twitter pages which stores will be opening.
It's worth checking those places first before heading out to your nearest store.
Can I still get online orders delivered?
The retailer is also "increasing its commitment" to its online service to help reduce the number of visits customers need to make to a physical store.
It will be ensuring that essential items, such as baby products, are restocked online as quickly as possible.
But Mr Macnab also warned that there might be some delays in online orders due to the increase in demand.
Online orders are free for Health & Beautycard members when you spend £10 or more, or £15 for non-members.
On all other orders, it is £3 delivery charge.
Will staff still get paid if they can't work?
Last Friday, the firm announce that staff won't be worse off financially throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
Workers will be paid in full if they are not able to work because they are either sick, they have to self isolate due to being high-risk or they're a parent who has to look after their children while schools are closed.
Staff will also receive their pay packet in full if they're not able to work because their store has been closed.
It has now extended this packaged to cover staff who live with or care for someone in a vulnerable group.
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