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‘Disinfection tunnels’ and ‘safe cabins’ introduced at supermarkets

17:53 10/04/2020

While in Boussu, supermarket-goers must enter through the ‘disinfection tunnel’, in Brussels, they are invited to visit the ‘StaySafe cabin’. The new installations are the first of their kind in Belgium, though likely not the last.

The Intermarché in Boussu, Hainaut province, opened up its disinfection tunnel yesterday morning. Customers must walk through it and get disinfected before entering the store. The tunnel spritzes steam onto the customers infused with a product called Lotus Pro. This is a toxic-free cleaning solution that mixes tap water with ozone.

“My goal is to protect both customers and the staff,” said Intermarché manager Éric Merella. “It’s a steam bath that takes just six seconds. You enter with your shopping cart and jets totally disinfect you and the cart.”

The supermarket, which also offers customers latex gloves when they enter, invested €10,000 in the tunnel. “It’s guaranteed to be effective against the coronavirus, so we decided to buy this innovative technology.”

Temperature check

The Carrefour on Place Jourdan in Etterbeek, meanwhile, opened its StaySafe disinfection unit just today (pictured). Customers can walk through it to enter the supermarket, though they are not required to.

First customers are invited to clean their hands with a disinfectant gel, then their shopping bags or trollies are sprayed with a disinfectant. They are also given a disinfecting cloth to use on the handles of their shopping baskets. “The StaySafe cabin lets customers enter the store in as safe a way as possible,” said Aurélie Gerth, communications director for Carrefour.

But the cabin goes one step further: An infrared scanner takes customers’ temperatures as they walk through, similar to devices seen in China. Shoppers who have a temperature will not be allowed to enter the supermarket.

“Our first customers this morning – who are mostly older – were very satisfied,” with the new system, said Gerth. “Both our customers and our staff are worried, and the more we can calm their fears, the better. Over the next few days, we will see if any improvements need to be made to the system and evaluate if we want to introduce it to other outlets in Belgium.”

Photo ©Bruno Fahy/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw