With the reopening of supermarkets and shops on Thursday 11 March 2021, the Government has introduced specific measures to encourage the Mauritian people to comply with all precautionary guidelines to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in the country. If you are planning to go to the supermarket, here is a set of rules and the right things to do.

The Mauritian Government has taken measures to limit the movement of people to the strict minimum in order to curb the spread of the virus. To help citizens get through the confinement, a number of possibilities are available for everyone to do their groceries, such as online shopping and drive-thrus. The reopening of supermarkets and shops under controlled conditions will also been in force as from tomorrow, Thursday 11 March 2021, subject to very stringent conditions to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

When can I go to the supermarket/shop?

Customers are admitted by alphabetical order each day to allow each family to shop for groceries twice a week:

  • Mondays and Thursdays: A-F
  • Tuesdays and Fridays: L-N
  • Wednesdays and Saturdays: O-Z

These retail outlets are open from 8am to 8pm.

Supermarkets available in Moka include Jumbo Express at Les Allées, Winner’s at Kendra, Dream Price at Saint Pierre and Intermart & Food Lovers at Bagatelle Mall.

What are the safety measures for access?

Additional measures have been implemented for enhanced safety in supermarkets: only one household member is allowed inside at a time and each person is required to show a valid ID card to have access to the supermarket. Anyone not wearing a mask will also be denied access to the supermarket.

A health check is carried out on entry and social distancing measures are enhanced by strict observance of floor markings from the aisles to the counters, with a designated path throughout to allow shoppers to cover the entire store within 30 minutes.

Finally, it is worth noting that the shopping carts are systematically disinfected before and after use, and that the personnel will provide you with sanitising gel to disinfect your hands before entering the retail outlets.

What types of groceries are available?

A limited number of persons will be allowed inside the retail outlets at a time to ensure everyone maintains the required safety distance. Fresh products like meat, fruit and vegetables or bread will be prepacked to minimise contact.

How can I effectively protect myself against the virus?

In order to move around and get your groceries safely, the Government and health authorities advise you to take different precautions before, during and after your trip out. Here’s a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything:

Before going out

  • I carry the bare minimum with me (bank card or cash, telephone and keys).
  • I remove all unnecessary items like jewellery or a watch to avoid bringing germs back home.
  • I wear a mask to protect my face.
  • I make sure not to forget my ID card!

While outside

  • I make sure not to touch my face with my hands.
  • I keep a safety distance of at least 1 metre from other people.
  • I cough or sneeze into my elbow.

On coming back home

  • When I get back home, I leave my groceries in a quarantine area (e.g. at the door, under the porch or in the laundry room).
  • I take off my shoes and leave them at the door.
  • I go for a shower and wash the clothes I wore outside.
  • Where possible, I remove the packaging from the purchased items and wash everything that can be washed: fruit, vegetables, cans, etc.
  • I don’t forget to disinfect everything I used: groceries, credit card, mobile phone, etc.

Can food packages or food products help spread the virus?

Fortunately, scientists have looked into the matter using available evidence to give us as many answers as possible. Key information and recommendations from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) are:

  • There is no evidence that farm animals and their by-products spread the virus.
  • Washing your fruit and vegetables with clean water is enough to remove all traces of the virus. It is not advised to use a disinfectant or detergent, which can be dangerous.
  • The use of white vinegar is inefficient for disinfection of food items.
  • Cooking on a medium heat at 63°C for 4 minutes is an effective method to eliminate all traces of the virus.
  • You can set your groceries aside for three hours after bringing them home (excluding fresh food): the virus cannot survive in the open air for more than a few hours.

You can find more advice on the ANSES website.

Remember that the best way to fight the virus is to stay home. Grocery shopping must not be used as an excuse to leave the house. Government regulations must be strictly observed and it is up to all Mauritians to remain self-disciplined in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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