Coles will dedicate two community shopping hour periods per week to emergency services and healthcare workers from 26 March.
The first hours of the supermarket’s trade on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be for workers including doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital and ambulance staff, police and firefighters.
Emergency service workers who hold an AHPRA card, have a workplace ID or – subject to review – are wearing their work uniform will also be permitted.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the move will help even more Australians access the essential groceries they need.
“In the past week we have seen Community Hour help vulnerable and elderly Australians access essential grocery items during this challenging time. We are now extending this opportunity to those Australians who are protecting our community and keeping us safe,” he said.
“We know these workers are incredibly busy and hope that providing them with a dedicated hour at the beginning of the day to shop will make their lives a little easier and support the vital work they are doing every day.”
Monday, Wednesday and Friday Coles Community Hours will continue to be dedicated to vulnerable and elderly customers.
Coles has also introduced guidelines to help with social distancing in stores. Customers have been advised to use the length of a trolley as a guide for the distance between themselves and other shoppers, sanitising hands is required before entering the store and the supermarket is also encouraging tap-and-go for payment.