As Covid-19 continues to spread, people are encouraged to stay at home unless visiting essential services such as petrol stations, supermarkets or pharmacies.
But given the emerging evidence of the virus to live on surfaces for long periods – some estimates suggest it can live for up to 72 hours, and with the need for consumers to access these services, there is extra pressure on businesses to ensure their stores are thoroughly sanitised.
Many stores are being proactive and have enacted rigorous and thorough cleaning schedules and social distancing measures to mitigate any risk.
OTR are one store ensuring a meticulous regime to protect their customers and staff. All stores will have automatic hand sanitisers installed by the end of the week and sterile wipes and paper towels will be provided at the forecourt to customers who are refueling.
They are also encouraging customers to pay at the pump via their app or credit card and to pre-order coffee and essentials or, where available, to use their drive-thru service.
Fuel pumps, counters, point-of-sale and Eftpos terminals are all regularly cleaned and sanitised and all seated dining areas withing their C-stores and Truck Lounges have been closed, in line with new government regulations.
BP Australia have also increased their measures, stating that “Practicing good hygiene and keeping a healthy physical distance between individuals is our most powerful weapon in fighting this virus and saving lives.
They are also regularly wiping down fuel pumps and dispenser handles with disinfectant, ensuring employees wash their hands often and are encouraging customers to wash their hands at their in-store bathrooms.
Contactless payments, including the BPme app are encouraged, as it Paywave. In store seating areas have also been closed, reusable coffee cups are no longer accepted and only single use condiments will be offered with food purchases.
BP Couchfood is also available to customers via Uber Easts and Deliveroo to deliver essentials like milk and bread, as well as YouFoodz ready made meals.
Caltex too are encouraging pay-at-the-pump or for customers entering the store to wash their hands on entering. The are also serving food in individual and/or original packaging and have suspended the use of reusable coffee cups. Staff have also been instructed to sanitise store and forecourt areas regularly.
A spokesperson told C&I: “Caltex’s aim is to continue to safely provide the fuel and convenience products that Australians need a this difficult time. All of our stores have paper towels available for customers to use when filling up at our fuel pumps. After use, towels can be disposed of in the bins provided.”
“We have also increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitisation in all of our stores. Customers can also help by paying by card in-store or through our FuelPay app. Remember, if you need something when you return home, you can order many everyday items through Uber Eats and have them delivered to your door from over 300 Caltex locations.”
And United Petroleum have announced stringent sanitising, and will ensure regular sanitising of Eftpos machines, counters, coffee machines door knobs and fridge handles, as well as fuel pump handles squeegees, air hoses, water buckets and ice fridges.
And while stores do their part to ensure safety, consumers should also do their best to comply with government health advice, more details can be found here.