10 tips for grocery shopping during COVID-19
Ottawa Public Health recommends grocery shopping alone to help maintain physical distancing in stores.
OTTAWA -- Grocery shopping during a pandemic can be stressful.
For many people, it’s the only time they enter a building other than their home. Navigating grocery stores in an age of physical distancing can be intimidating.
Thankfully, Ottawa Public Health has put together a handy list of shopping etiquette tips to help your grocery trip go as smoothly as possible.
1. Be patient
Stores are controlling the number of people allowed inside at one time to ensure physical distance between customers. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait in line outside before you can start shopping.
2. Follow signs
Your neighbourhood grocery store doesn’t look the same as it did a month ago. Some aisles may now be one-way. Look for floor markings and signage; they’re there to make everyone’s trip as safe as possible
3. Shop alone
Fewer people in the store means easier physical distancing and fewer people potentially exposed to the virus. It’s simple math.
4. Have a detailed list
Ottawa Public Health recommends organizing your grocery list by aisle to limit your time in the store and cut down on traffic. Avoid lingering in the aisles.
5. Take only what you need
As food experts and executives have said, Canada’s food supply chain is robust. There’s no need to stock up on too much food. Public Health suggests having enough supplies for two weeks in case you or a family member falls ill.
6. Be understanding
Some products may be less available. New StatCan numbers showed dry, non-perishable goods in particular are a lot more popular these days. You may not be able to find that particular pasta you were looking for.
7. Shop with your eyes
Avoid touching items that you don’t intend to buy.
8. Be patient at the cash
Some stores may close every other cash to promote physical distancing. Others may have markings on the floor showing where you should line up. Ottawa Public Health says after placing your items on the conveyor belt, you should move to the end. Don’t wait in front of or near the cashier.
9. Use clean bags
Many stores are only allowing staff to pack items using store-provided bags. If you are allowed to bring your own reusable bags, though, make sure they’re clean.
10. Pay with plastic
If you can avoid paying with cash, it reduces the surfaces you touch. OPH says paying with tap is the best way to go.