Woolworths encourages customers to mask up

Woolworths has issued a statement saying its customers will be “strongly encouraged to wear face coverings” from Monday, 3 August in NSW and ACT while the same recommendation would apply from today in Queensland's identified hotspots.

The guidance is for Woolworths Supermarkets, Woolworths Metro Food Stores, BIG W, Dan Murphy’s, BWS and ALH Hotels.

This is in addition to the mandatory requirements for face coverings in all of Victoria, currently in place across Melbourne and Mitchell shires, with the entire state now included from Sunday.

There is no suggestion in the company’s statement that customers would be turned away for failing to wear a mask.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers, teams and communities is our top priority.

“Even though wearing a face covering is not mandatory in NSW, ACT or Queensland, as the largest private sector employer with stores in almost every community, we feel it's important we lead the way in helping reduce community transmission of COVID-19. We’re asking our teams to lead by example, and this includes our Group Executive Team."

Brad Banducci added: “We’ll continue to work with the Health Department to make sure our safety protocols and procedures are the best they can be. We’d like to thank our customers and team for their ongoing support as we all work together to keep our communities COVIDSafe.”

Staff will be provided with masks, the company said.