Christmas Shoppers Urged By Authorities to Stay Covid-Safe

December 15, 2020 Updated: December 15, 2020

NSW Health is urging Christmas shoppers not to let their guard down when crossing off their shopping list.

Dr Chatu Yapa said anyone going out to shop should abide by COVID-safe rules including wearing masks, avoiding crowded retail centres and maintaining physical distancing.

“If the shopping centre is too crowded, you should consider returning at an off-peak time, doing your gift shopping online or shopping locally at community businesses,” she said on Wednesday.

Yapa strongly recommended people to wear a face mask and minimise time spent inside shops if they can’t physically distance. She also advised not to go shopping if feeling unwell, and to “stay home and get tested immediately” instead.

“This is one of the best ways you can protect others during this busy season,” she said.

In their press release, NSW Health reminds the community that “now is not the time to be complacent”, even with restrictions being eased and borders reopening.

“Experience has shown us how easily the virus can spread through the community if we let our guard down,” the press release noted.

SafeWork NSW inspectors will be visiting shopping centres across Sydney to make sure they have a COVID Safety Plan, are following social distancing rules and hygiene measures and have a QR check-in system to register patrons.

Meanwhile, Australia Post is swamped with most-ever Christmas deliveries as Aussies continue to shop up a storm online. The postal service expects to deliver more than 12 million parcels, with online purchases up more than 42 percent in the first week of December.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman posts mail via an Express Post box located on Oxford st outside the Darlinghurst Post Office on May 7, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Don Arnold/Getty Images)

The last-minute surge in online shopping comes off the back of a record-breaking November with almost a third of shoppers buying more than once online over the month.

“This is the biggest Christmas we’ll deliver in our history, and after such a challenging year, we want to make sure it’s a great one,” said Australia Post Executive General Manager Deliveries Rod Barnes.

The national postal service is extending trading hours at more than 500 locations, operating an additional 60 new and repurposed facilities, flying 18 dedicated freighters and has hired 5000 extra staffs to keep up with the demand for the busiest period for deliveries.

Australia Postal Service said gift-givers have 4 days left until Saturday 19 December to send presents to their loved ones using Express Post.

AAP contributed to this article.