Tesco workers in ‘absolute fear’ as supermarkets hit by multiple covid-19 cases

Shoppers flocked to Tesco in Bridgend (pictured) just before Christmas (Image: WALES NEWS SERVICE)

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Tesco workers are living in 'absolute fear' after outbreaks at least two large stores and a depot in Wales.

The supermarket has suffered cases at a store in Bridgend, a Tesco Extra in Cardiff and a depot in Magor, Monmouthshire.

A staff member at the Bridgend store said there had been 40 confirmed cases since Christmas, with 140 workers isolating at one point.

The worker added that shoppers were ignoring social distancing over the chaotic festive period, Wales Online reports.

Bridgend currently has the second highest coronavirus infection rate in Wales, with 894.3 cases per 100,000 population.

A worker at the Cowbridge Road store in Bridgend said: "There have been 40 confirmed cases at least since Christmas.

Are you a supermarket worker worried about catching coronavirus? Email [email protected]

A Bridgend Tesco worker said customers have not been following social distancing

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"About a third of the workforce is isolating due to coming into contact with someone, or through track and trace.

"The staff are scared, absolutely scared. Because of the levels of people in store, Tesco has now reduced the amount of people who can come in but leading up to Christmas there was no authority.

"There were people saying they were not letting their kids go to school because of the risk of Covid, but then were shopping with the entire family."

The employee said they could not keep a safe distance from other people in the store as customers did not follow the guidelines.

They added that most shoppers also do not wear their masks properly.

"We are all just scared and wondering who is going to get it next," the worker said.

Most shoppers at the Bridgend store do not wear their masks properly, according to a worker
(Image: Glamorgan Gazette)

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"And if we do catch it, who will we take it home to. Unfortunately we need our jobs so we have no choice."

The employee said cases were "throughout the store in every department" and that the home shopping department was badly hit: "There's people working on home shopping orders and there's customers walking up right next to them.

"The number of orders coming into the [website] are just as many as before Christmas. There could be customers with coronavirus handling the items in store and putting them back, then those same items get delivered to people at home.

"There are so many customers in the store, it was only a matter of time. The store is still employing people because normal staff are dropping like flies."

A Tesco employee said staff are 'dropping like flies' at their store

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Tesco isn't the only supermarket facing such issues. One worker for a Welsh Lidl store told a very similar tale.

"I’m not just worried about myself, I'm worried about my colleagues," the employee said.

"Customers are not wearing masks, then it is us being abused when we ask them to because they not wearing an exemption badge. There are markings on the floor, but no one follows them and there’s no one on the door controlling numbers. It’s like a free for all.

"After 6pm we'd might as well be an off license. No one comes for essential shopping and they come in groups on a family day out. I have worked in supermarkets for more than a decade, but I am looking to get out as I can't cope any more."

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “A number of colleagues at our Bridgend Extra and Magor Distribution Centre are off work due to Covid-19. Their close contacts have been informed.

"The safety of our colleagues, customers and suppliers remains our number one priority and we are following all Government guidance and working with local public health authorities.

"We have extensive measures across all of our stores and distribution centres to help keep everyone safe, including protective screens at every checkout, a traffic light system at our store entrance monitoring numbers, social distancing signage and regular cleaning.”

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