At a time where the majority of us are staying home to preserve our health, brave healthcare and emergency service workers are asked to stand on the front line of Covid-19 and take responsibility for those at risk.

Coles Supermarkets are now acknowledging those who are protecting our community by making the first hour of trade (7-8 am) on Tuesdays and Thursdays exclusive to emergency services and healthcare workers.

Starting this Thursday, doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital and ambulance staff, police, firefighters and emergency services who hold an AHPRA card, have a workplace ID or are wearing their work uniform, will be eligible for the exclusive shopping hour.

While registered nurses (RN’s) and enrolled nurses (EN’s) working in aged care have AHRPA identification which makes their eligibility very clear, unfortunately, the criteria are not as clear for other aged care workers who deserve the same respect.

In a conversation with a Coles spokesperson, HelloCare was told that aged care staff members like assistant’s in nursing (AIN’s) and personal care assistants (PCA’s) would be granted entry to the exclusive shopping hour if they could prove their identity and job description.

And that this would be up to the discretion of the store manager at every individual Coles outlet.

Although this process definitely seems to have some grey areas, we would recommend that aged care staff use their facility name badge and any personal identification, as wearing your full uniform would definitely pose some infection control problems.

Earlier today, Coles Group chief executive officer Steven Cain said the move would help even more Australians access the essential groceries they need.

“In the past week we have seen the Community Hour help vulnerable and elderly Australians access essential grocery items during this challenging time,” Mr Cain said.

“We are now extending this opportunity to those Australians who are protecting our community and keeping us safe.”

“We know these workers are incredibly busy and hope that providing them with a dedicated hour at the beginning of the day to shop will make their lives a little easier and support the vital work they are doing every day,” Mr Cain said.

The first hour of trading on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s will still be dedicated to serving elderly customers.

Photo Credit – iStock – Kokkai Ng

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