COVID-19: Iceland backtracks on rules for NHS staff shoppers
Supermarket chain apologises after complaints it made front-line workers feel ‘contaminated and dirty’
Supermarket chain Iceland has withdrawn a policy requiring NHS workers to buy items they touched to ‘reduce contamination risk’.
Iceland’s guidance widely criticised on social media
Health and care workers took to social media to say the policy made them feel contaminated and dirty.
Thank you for assuming I am contaminated and dirty @IcelandFoods.— SAMbulance™ (@samdharrison) April 16, 2020
No matter that @NHSuk workers actually have BETTER hand hygiene practices and understand how to use PPE properly (unlike the rest of the British public).
I’ll continue washing my hands and use another store. Ta. pic.twitter.com/xp7fyeJPrK
The now-deleted section of Iceland’s website listed the measures as part of efforts to ‘protect’ its staff during the exclusive shopping hours the supermarket has set aside for NHS workers.
‘We will be limiting payments to cards only (contactless where possible) during the NHS exclusive hours, and aiming to clean stores following the exclusive hour each day,’ the section read.
‘If NHS workers touch products they have to buy them, they can't put them back. This is to reduce the risk of contamination.’
Apology for offence caused by the guidance
A spokesperson for Iceland apologised for the upset the statement had caused.
‘This was an error and it should not have been posted on our website,’ they said. ‘We sincerely apologise for the offence this has clearly caused, and have immediately withdrawn this guidance.
‘We are deeply grateful to the NHS and all key workers for everything they are doing to keep the country running.’
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