While coronavirus cases continue to grow in NSW, customers at any Woolworths Group store will be “strongly encouraged” to wear face coverings from Monday.
The move includes all of the NSW and ACT stores in Woolworths, Dan Murphys, Big W, BWS and ALH.
Stores in Queensland hot spots will also follow the guidelines, while stores in Victoria will be protected under the safety order from Sunday, mandating masks across the state.
Although the masks were not mandatory in NSW, ACT or Queensland, Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said that he believed it was a positive move forward in helping to eradicate the virus.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers, teams and communities is our top priority,” he said.
“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.”
To people in the Fairfield and Liverpool local government areas in southwest Sydney-where numerous virus clusters have been identified- this policy came into play last week, and face masks were given to staff in those stores.
Mr Banducci said that the workers of the Woolworths Group had been told to “lead by example,” including the executive team, and that the workers had been issued masks to wear and would continue to be for the near future.
“Masks and face coverings are a highly visible symbol of the persistence of COVID-19,” he said.
“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.”