An investigation reveals that some major Israeli retail chains aren’t checking customers’ temperatures, enforcing mask wearing or social distancing.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A report by Israel Hayom revealed Monday that some Israeli retail chains and shopping centers aren’t maintaining health guidelines, like checking customers’ temperatures, enforcing mask wearing, and social distancing.
In the central city of Kfar Saba, Israel Hayom observed that everything appeared to be pre-coronavirus business as usual, with lax enforcement of the health guidelines. At the local branch of a national fast food chain restaurant, nobody checked customers’ temperatures.
A branch of a chain home goods store offered hand sanitizer at the entrance to the store, but no temperature checks took place. Employees wore masks dangling from their ears, not covering their noses and mouths. No one was counting the number of customers inside the store at one time or enforcing social distancing.
Inside a Kfar Saba mall, many customers were unmasked or improperly wore their masks, not covering their noses and mouths. Some employees followed suit, wearing masks under their chins.
Within the stores and common areas in the mall, there appeared to be no limit to the number of customers in one place and no social distancing.
Israel Hayom contacted the retail chains’ and mall’s management for comment, who all said something like, “This is an exceptional case, which we’ll deal with shortly.”
In the southern city of Beer Sheva, customers streamed in and out of the municipal post office without having their temperatures checked. There was no enforcement of social distancing inside the post office, and customers were not required to wear masks. Post office employees wore masks, but under their chins.
Security guards in Beer Sheva’s central bus station, which sees tens of thousands of passengers transiting through the desert hub daily, did not check temperatures of those entering the station.
Passengers weren’t required to wear masks and there was no hand-sanitizer available. When an Israel Hayom reporter asked a security officer why the health guidelines weren’t being enforced, he said, “We are under no commitment to follow them.”
The report comes on the heels of a spike in new coronavirus infections, which some experts have called the beginning of a “second wave” of infections. The uptick in cases should mean that businesses strictly commit to health guidelines, but Israel Hayom found the opposite to be true.
In May, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that businesses would need to participate in the Purple Badge program in order to reopen.
The Purple Badge standard means that businesses commit to abiding by Ministry of Health guidelines, such as checking customers’ temperatures at the door, enforcing the wearing of masks, having alcohol-based hand sanitizer available, and limiting the number of people inside a store so that social distancing can be maintained.