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‘Enforcement of corona rules in supermarkets must be better for the elderly and the sick’

Waiting neatly in line, one person per household in the store and customers who keep their distance. That was the picture at the supermarket during the beginning of the corona crisis, but that has changed considerably in recent weeks. Interest groups for the elderly and chronically ill expect action from the supermarkets.

The fact that it is getting busier in the supermarket and that the corona rules are no longer always followed, is also noted by CBL director Marc Jansen. He spoke on behalf of the supermarkets. “We also see more and more groups in the supermarket, couples, families. We still have to make the appeal: people, come to the supermarket alone.”

The rules have not changed since March. For example, a maximum of one customer per ten square meters of retail space applies, customers are asked to keep a sufficient distance from each other, mudguards are hung at the checkout and there are means to clean carts.

Bert van de Bult is 80 years old and no longer likes shopping. Both supermarket employees and visitors are much more lax, he sees:

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‘Someone used to clean your cart, but not anymore’

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Elderly union ANBO has recently been receiving calls from concerned members. “People who run extra risk, for example because of a lung disease, no longer dare to go to the supermarket”, says Liane den Haan of the union. “Ordering online is not a solution for everyone, because it is too expensive or because the order is too small.”

Also umbrella organization Every (in), which stands up for people with a disability or a chronic illness, believes that more account should be taken of vulnerable people. “We have agreed that people with a disability or a disease should not become more isolated than others. They should also be able to go to the store or supermarket,” said chairman Illya Soffer.

Cost is not an argument.

Marc Jansen (CBL)

Each (in) and ANBO therefore argue for a host or hostess at the entrance of the supermarket. In March and April they were at many supermarkets, but now they have often disappeared. Trade union FNV asked there earlier this week also to.

Marc Jansen of the Central Bureau for Food Trade does not think this is necessary everywhere. “It is up to the store owner to determine this. If the elderly feel uncomfortable, they can report this to their supermarket.” Jansen admits that it is also a matter of money. “Extra measures entail extra costs. But if necessary, costs are not an argument.”


A third of supermarket owners feel in favor of a masking obligation for supermarkets, as it also exists in Germany and France. If the rules are better enforced, such an obligation is not necessary according to the ABNO elderly. Everyone first wants the effect and usefulness of masks in public spaces and shops to be investigated.

Hubert Bruls, the chairman of the Security Council, also sees that the protocols are less followed in supermarkets. Still, he sees no reason for extra enforcement. In individual cases, action is taken if necessary, he says. For example in Noord-Deurningen, where there is a supermarket was fined and temporarily closed after repeated violations of the rules. The responsibility for complying with the measures lies mainly with the supermarkets, says Bruls.

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