Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW) is taking a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) as the retailer and licensed venue operator expands the scope of locations where masks will be strongly recommended to customers.
In Queensland hotspot areas the group is encouraging customers and teams across the group to wear face coverings as of today, while the recommendation will be made across all its sites in NSW and ACT from Monday, 3 August.
This is in addition to requirements by law that customers wear masks in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire - a measure that will be extended to the entire state of Victoria on Sunday.
The guidance is for Woolworths Supermarkets, Woolworths Metro Food Stores, BIG W, Dan Murphy's, BWS and ALH Hotels.
Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci says the safety and wellbeing of customers, teams and communities is the company's 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," says Banducci.
"Masks and face coverings are a highly visible symbol of the persistence of COVID-19. By encouraging and role modelling their use, it will further support the steps we need to collectively take to stop the spread of the virus and keep our team and customers safe.
"We're asking our teams to lead by example, and this includes our Group Executive Team."
Face coverings are being provided to all Woolworths Group team members to wear and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
"We'll continue to work with the Health Department to make sure our safety protocols and procedures are the best they can be," says Banducci.
"We'd like to thank our customers and team for their ongoing support as we all work together to keep our communities COVIDSafe."
Woolworths Group is more commonly known for its eponymous retail outlet, but through ALH it has around 300 bars around the country of which approximately 50 in NSW would fall under the new mask-wearing recommendations.
ALH also has numerous venues in the Logan corridor and Metro South areas of Queensland where recent new cases have been detected.
As Queensland's hotspots have not yet been fully defined, the wearing of masks is strongly encouraged in the following Woolworths supermarkets in the state:
- Browns Plains
- Browns Plains Westpoint
- Chatswood Hills
- Park Ridge
Updated at 12:33pm AEST on 31 July 2020.
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