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Countdown to give priority workers early access to supermarkets each day

Woolworths’ New Zealand supermarket chain Countdown will open early in Auckland to allow medical and emergency workers the opportunity to shop outside of regular hours, giving them the time and space they need to pick up the essentials they need.

With the increasing pressure on medical, MIQ and emergency workers due to the worsening Covid-19 outbreak, Auckland Countdown stores will operate between 7am and 8am each day purely for these essential workers.

The ‘priority access hour’ will also be available for police officers and fire fighters.

“These workers, particularly those caring for hospitalised Covid-19 patients or the large number of Kiwis currently in managed isolation, are working under huge amounts of pressure,” said Countdown’s general manager of corporate affairs, safety and sustainability Kiri Hannifin.

“Opening our doors to them an hour ahead of the public will give them the ability to shop in peace and access freshly stocked shelves.”

The country saw its total number of cases hit 736 yesterday, 720 of which are in Auckland, and director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there was a good chance people who are infected are, on average, passing the virus onto less than one person – meaning, so far, the virus isn’t spreading out control.

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