The new reality of shopping: masks at Apple, temperature controls at Sephora and store limits in Mecca
Masks are mandatory, gloves are recommended and you cannot get in without a temperature control.
Australians embracing reduced COVID-19 restrictions are quickly discovering how much has changed since the close of March 22 as shopping centers try to entice shoppers and open shops for the first time in two months.
Daily Mail Australia visited some of the major stores to see what retail looks like in a post COVID-19 world. And what we discovered were obstacles and frustration.
Now, among the trendy employees wearing t-shirts and iPad holders from the Apple Store, are cleaning products that work with spray bottles.
Within seconds of customers leaving the ‘Genius Bar’ wooden tables – where iPhone issues have been resolved – these cleaners enter and disinfect any surface a customer has touched.
It was a similar story at other stores in Westfield Bondi Junction, east Sydney, with the new store reality in full swing – with hand sanitizing stalls at every store entrance arguably the most obvious change.
There was already outrage across Australia that shoppers were denied access to stores for not using sanister, but Daily Mail Australia only saw shoppers eager to meet the new reality.
Temperature checks are carried out in queues outside the store, while employees keep customer numbers to keep the store under the capacity of 10 people
Australians are adapting to various changes in a post-coronavirus world such as masks, mandatory in all Apple stores
After checking their temperature, customers should put on disposable masks that Apple gave them
Squirting and wiping cleaning products are now in the store, wiping tables as customers leave
Bar barriers are mounted outside Apple stores to help manage queues, although they still swing remotely at most outlets
Patience was always needed when looking for a park on a busy weekend – but now it has become a must just to enter a store.
Long queues were common thanks to social distance rules, which means that there are fewer people in a store at any given time, and greater distance is required between those who queue outside.
Floor markings have been placed outside each store to ensure that customers are kept at least 1.5 meters apart. The same markings are present in queues for the registers.
Popular outlets like makeup stores Sephora and Mecca, customers also need to get their temperature measured before they can even enter the store.
Anyone with a fever is rejected.
Outside the Apple Store in Broadway shopping center, in western Sydney, the queue wound more than 20 yards from the door to the escalator for lunch on Wednesday.
Customers who are at least two meters apart will wear blue masks and if they refuse, they will be sent away.
An employee then checks their temperature with a thermometer and if there are no abnormalities, they can go in.
Despite the huge amount of space in the large store, only a handful of people are allowed at any one time.
A line snaked through the Broadway shopping center on Wednesday as shoppers waited their turn to enter the Apple Store
Multiple Apple employees stepped out of the store to manage the customer line as it grew
Employees, customers, and security can wear mandatory face masks in the Apple Store
Customers refrained from touching digital devices, which were intentionally displayed to interact before the pandemic
The rules are part of the measures the company has taken to ensure that personnel do not risk contracting the disease.
Apple announced the closure of its brick and mortar stores in March, instead directing its customers to online services as the coronavirus pandemic began to escalate.
But as contamination began to slow, CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple stores would reopen in Austria and Australia, but new security measures would also be introduced.
Some people consider the security measures to be a good thing, but others are difficult.
Makeup giant Sephora also requires customers to have their temperature checked before entering the store.
Hand sanitizer is also available and, as with all stores, there is a limit to the number of customers allowed to enter at any time.
Theresa Fagan told Daily Mail Australia that the measures are ideal.
Ms. Fagan, 32, is a nurse at a COVID-19 clinic in central Sydney, and she’s seen firsthand what harmful effects the virus can have if precautions are not taken.
“It’s non-invasive, the only thing that would be a problem is if you have a fever for any other reason, but if that’s the case, you probably shouldn’t be shopping in any way, especially in this climate.” , she said.
An Apple employee wearing gloves points to a phone while explaining its features to two young women
A woman standing in line to enter Apple didn’t seem impressed when she waited for a security guard to deliver the results of her temperature check
Apple employees who wear masks help guide customers around the store after strict social distance measures are implemented
A Sephora employee performs a temperature check on a woman before she can enter the store
A security guard waits outside Target on Wednesday to ensure that the store is not filled with too many customers
Floor markings have been placed in shops to ensure that customers remain at a distance of 1.5 meters
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 7,079
New South Wales: 3,081
Western Australia: 557
South Australia: 439
Australian Capital Territory: 107
Northern Territory: 29
TOTAL CASES: 7,079
She hopes all stores will introduce similar measures to reduce the risk of a second outbreak in Australia.
Alana Juliet, 26, said she was accompanied by an employee through the Mecca store when she went to buy a present for a friend over the weekend.
Sydney makeup artist Tracy Terashima, 55, was also happy with the security measures before entering Mecca to buy supplies for her next photo shoot.
“If it’s the best way to protect staff and other customers, I’m fine with that,” she said.
But not everyone was so enthusiastic about the temporary ‘normal’ of Australia.
“It’s annoying,” said a woman who was waiting in line to enter the Apple Store in Bondi Junction.
She held her blue mask in her hand until she reached the door. She wouldn’t wear it until she absolutely had to.
‘It is difficult. This is the first time I have to queue. ‘
There to pick up the new phone she just bought, she hopes to find a vaccine soon, putting an end to social distance measures.
An Apple customer is away from an employee while examining their mobile phone
A woman has her temperature checked outside a Mecca Maxima on Wednesday. Those who have a fever are not allowed to enter
An Apple spokeswoman said that Daily Mail Australia customers can expect delays in stores due to COVID-19 measures slowing operations.
“Our social distance protocols mean a limited number of visitors to each store at a time, so there may be delays in walk-in customers,” she said.
“ We encourage customers to buy online for delivery or schedule a store pickup whenever possible. Customers can expect to have to wait to enter our stores because we monitor the number of people inside.
Customers still have several home support options, including the Apple Support app, or online and telephone support at support.apple.com.
“We also offer a mail-in service for selected repairs.”
Restrictions were lowered slightly last week after the federal government gave green light to states to ease restrictions on their own timeline, dramatically flattening the curve of infection rates in Australia.
New South Wales and the Northern Territory were the first to be allowed to dine indoors, although a limit of 10 customers was allowed in each location simultaneously.
South Australia currently allows outdoor cafes and restaurants for up to 10 people, and all other states are expected to follow in the coming weeks.
An Apple employee speaks to two men who are waiting in line to enter the store
Women were depicted with masks lined up to enter Chemist Warehouse
Customers were spread to meet social distance restrictions that are further enforced by store capacity limits
The federal government has prepared a three-step plan hoping to restart the economy by July.
The first step – which has already been taken by most states – sees meetings of up to ten people allowed and the reopening of cafes and restaurants.
In the second phase, meetings of up to 20 people can take place. Gyms, cinemas, and beauty treatments can also be restarted, while community sports and some interstate travel are also getting the green light.
Working from home is encouraged where possible in steps one and two.
Step three involves opening up most of the economy with gatherings of up to 100 people and pubs and clubs are open again.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mecca and Sephora for comment on their COVID-19 restrictions.