Coles introduces shopping hour for healthcare workers

Supermarket Coles has announced new dedicated shopping hours for healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The supermarket giant will open its doors exclusively to frontline emergency service and healthcare workers – from 7am to 8am Tuesdays and Thursdays – starting March 26.

Coles said the new measure will apply to any healthcare or emergency personnel who hold an AHPRA card, have a workplace ID or are wearing their work uniform, including:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Paramedics
  • Hospital and ambulance staff
  • Police
  • Firefighters
  • Emergency service workers

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the Coles ‘community hour’ will still be dedicated to seniors and customers who hold a government-issued concession card, including:

  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Companion Card
  • Seniors Card
  • Disability Card
  • Health Care Card

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the move built on the success of the initial ‘community hour’, launched to help vulnerable and elderly Australians access essential grocery items during the pandemic.

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

“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.”

Both Coles and Woolies have also introduced new social distancing guidelines in stores. Customers are advised to use the length of a trolley as a guide for distance between each other and asked to sanitise their hands before entering stores. Customers are also encouraged to use tap and go when possible.

Picture credits: Shuang Li /

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