Brent councillor calls for improved social distancing in supermarkets

Asda supermarket in Forty Lane, Wembley

Asda supermarket in Forty Lane, Wembley - Credit: Archant

A Brent councillor is calling for social distancing measures to be more strictly implemented in supermarkets, but is feeling at a loss.

Anton Georgiou, Brent's only Liberal Democrat councillor who represents Alperton ward, was dismayed by the lack of social distancing in Asda's Wembley branch when he went as a customer on December 23.

He contacted Asda to enquire about its social distancing enforcement policies amid the coronavirus pandemic, for rules such as mask wearing, the number of customers allowed inside at any one time and the maintence of a two-metre distance in queues and at the checkout. 

The councillor pointed out Brent was the worst affected of all areas in UK for Covid-19 deaths during the first lockdown last year. 

Additionally, Cllr Georgiou is not the only one troubled by this - “a wider group of Brent residents have contacted him” regarding the matter.

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He said: “In the Wembley and Alperton area, this new variant is spreading like wildfire.”

Despite being assured social distancing improvements have been made, Cllr Georgiou said he has continued to be contacted by concerned Brent residents.

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Cllr Georgiou added: “Supermarkets have been open for the duration of the pandemic, so in my view, they should have got better at dealing with the situation.”

While the supermarket has promised to “encourage” further changes, Cllr Georgiou is concerned this will not happen, and if it does, it will be too little too late.

He feels this issue needs to be dealt with for the safety of staff and customers alike, and was keen to praise the work of supermarket employees throughout the pandemic.

“We applaud our key workers in the NHS, teachers, bus drivers and train drivers, but supermarket staff are also key workers,” he said.

A spokesperson from Asda responded: “Our highest priority is to keep customers and colleagues as safe as possible and we take extensive precautions to do so.”

They continued: “The local environmental health team have made visits to the store and on all occasions have been happy with the measures in place."

READ MORE: Brent ‘worst affected of all’ in UK for coronavirus deaths

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