Supermarket responds after claims of 'free-for-all' in Wigan store

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The shopper claimed she felt extremely unsafe when she visited Asda’s superstore on Soho Street at around 4.30pm on Saturday.

She described aisles packed with customers not sticking to social distancing requirements and claimed many shoppers were not wearing face coverings.

The customer said there were signs telling people what they had to do but these were being ignored and no-one was enforcing them.

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Asda, though, has robustly defended its compliance with health measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and said it had no reason to suspect there was any danger from the number of people in the store over the weekend.

The Asda superstore in WiganThe Asda superstore in Wigan
The Asda superstore in Wigan

The customer, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “It was unbelievably busy. They had all the safety measures in place at the entrance and exit, signs telling you to keep two metres apart and sanitisers, but nothing was being policed.

“There was no social distancing and face masks weren’t being worn.

People were chock-a-block in the aisles. It was packed, a complete free-for-all. It felt so unsafe.

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“It was just like a normal day close to Christmas. It was just open with everybody doing whatever they wanted whenever they pleased. There was no awareness of anything.

“I felt so wary and scared. I just wanted to get out.”

However, Asda said that at no point over the weekend was the Wigan superstore even close to the capacity set out by the ‘one-metre-plus’ social distancing guidelines published by the Government.

The retail giant also said Wigan Council had visited and found no areas for improvement and safety marshals were being posted in aisles and at the entrance to stores to remind customers to follow the coronavirus regulations and answer questions related to safety.

An Asda spokesperson said: “We have extensive measures in place across all our stores such as Covid-marshals, protective screens, social distancing signage and numerous hand sanitiser stations.

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“Our customers can rest assured that we continue to follow all government guidance as we have since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.’’

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