Shoppers ‘sprayed with disinfectant’ before entering store over coronavirus fear

Customers entering a Costco store in the UK were disinfected as they walked through the front door this week, as fears over the coronavirus worsen.

Shoppers visiting the Croydon store on Thursday March 5 were stopped by a staff member to be sprayed with a "disinfectant-like liquid", the person who filmed the incident.

It is also reported that tissue-based products, hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial products were also being rationed.

Mail Online reports that those visiting the store "lined up obediently" to be disinfected, although Costco itself says only trolley handles were sprayed – not customers.

The person who filmed the incident at Costco said it was a "peculiar situation" and that there had been no clear signs explaining what was happening or why the queue were longer than usual.

"There were no available trolleys and by time I reached the top of the line I noticed the security guard/sales assistant had a translucent canister and he was spraying everyone as they walked in," he said.

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"You would show your card and then receive a squirt of whatever was in there and then you would get a tissue."

He added that there had been a waste paper bin to drop the tissues into and claimed he questioned Costco staff on if these measures had been put in place because of the coronavirus to which they said "yes".

The company said it was "simply sanitising trolley handles as a precautionary measure".

But the witness said it was definitely sprayed onto his hands, adding: "Nobody seemed to question what was happening and everyone was just lining up obediently.

"The liquid was more fluid than hand sanitiser and it felt more water-based, it had a smell of disinfectant."

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He also claimed that customers were rationed to two tissue-based products each and that hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial products were also being rationed.

It comes as CNN reports that the company's sales are up thanks to the Covid-19 virus.

"Members are turning to us for a variety of items associated with preparing for and dealing with a virus," Costco CFO Richard Galanti reportedly told analysts on a call.

These items include dry grocery items, cleaning supplies, Clorox and bleach, water, paper goods, hand sanitisers, sanitising wipes, disinfectants, health and beauty aids.

"It's been a little crazy this past week in terms of outside shopping frequency and sales levels," he added.

  • Coronavirus

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