Countdown's General Manager of Health and Safety, Kiri Hannifin

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 on Thursday and Countdown supermarkets around the country will go back to their regular opening times and all limits on products will be removed.  

Countdown’s physical distancing and strict hygiene measures will stay in place, with stores continuing to limit the number of customers in stores at any one time.  Customers will still be encouraged to shop alone where possible.

General Manager of Health and Safety, Kiri Hannifin, says the business is looking forward to welcoming customers back to their regular routines while still making sure that safe shopping is a priority for both Countdown’s team and customers.

“Kiwis should be very proud of the incredible job we have done in getting New Zealand to Level 2, but we absolutely must remain vigilant when it comes to physical distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” says Kiri Hannifin. 

“While we all have more freedom, we also have responsibility to help maintain physical distancing from other shoppers and our team members when you’re shopping in Countdown stores. This may mean from time to time you may need to queue.  We thank Kiwis in advance for their patience and for working with us to maintain a safe environment.”

From Thursday, all Countdown stores will go back to their pre-lockdown opening times, all product limits will be lifted, popular services like fresh flowers and Lotto will be back, and Countdown’s Albert Street Metro (Auckland), Cable Car Lane (Wellington) and Northwest (Auckland) stores are re-opening to welcome back customers. Countdown Moorhouse (Christchurch) will re-open on Monday 18 May.

The Alert Level 2 changes also mean the priority shopping hour for emergency workers and medical personnel will no longer be needed.

“The priority shopping hour was put in place during the lockdown to ensure our amazing, hard-working, frontline emergency workers and medical personnel could buy what they needed before the store opened to the public.  With the move to Level 2, and stores now open for longer, this priority hour is no longer needed.  We’ll review this if anything changes in the future,” says Kiri Hannifin.

“We know our customers are pretty keen to get back to their usual routines as soon as possible. By reverting back to our original opening hours, taking limits off products in our stores, and bringing back other popular services, we can help make things feel a bit more normal at the supermarket. It’s great to be a little more normal but please continue to shop safely, shop alone wherever you can and keep your distance.”

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