Coronavirus: Supermarket priority lines

Esselunga and Coop recognize healthcare workers

Editorial Staff
March 24, 2020 - 16:59

Italian supermarkets have proven reactive and compassionate during the coronavirus crisis, quickly adapting limited access measures and ensuring fully stocked shelves. One problem, however, is the long lines at urban supermarkets, often up to two hours long. A Welsh Florence resident who prefers to remain anonymous wrote to the head office of Esselunga with a proposal: could they create priority lines for healthcare workers? She notes that after interminable shifts, many doctors, nurses and surgeons are also isolating alone, and the last thing they need is to spend their precious rest time waiting in line.



supermarket line florence coronavirus A lineup at Esselunga in Florence | Ph. Tommaso Olivieri for @arttrav



Not 24 hours after our her request, Esselunga responded: "Effective immediately (March 20, 2020), at all Esselunga stores, a priority line will be dedicated to healthcare professionals and to volunteers making purchases and deliveries for the elderly or families in need. Authorized personnel must be equipped with appropriate ID."



Shopping at | Ph. courtesy Informacoop



Unicoop Firenze supermarkets followed suit on March 21; fast-track access for volunteers had already been organized, and was extended to healthcare professionals.



UPDATE March 26: has also announced that it will freeze prices on all goods until May 31 to protect families' buying power.

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