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Coronavirus: supermarkets stepping up home delivery services

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of supermarkets in Cyprus were forced to adapt quickly and implement home delivery or pick-up services in order to help the growing number of customers who either don’t feel safe visiting stores or are self-isolating and not allowed out.

Customers of supermarkets giant Alphamega now have the opportunity to do their shopping online and have it brought to their homes through the delivery app Foody or through the website www.foody.com.cy.

Papantoniou in Paphos is offering home delivery, but only for orders of €100 or above and within a 10km radius from the six stores currently operating in the country. Pick-up is also available for orders of €70 or above.

Athienitis in Nicosia is also operating a home delivery service to customers, who can submit their orders online at [email protected].

The company is also offering its customers the chance to carry out a “live remote shopping” via Skype or Messenger, with a supermarket employee recording live what ends up in the shopping cart to the customer with a phone or a tablet.

Deliveries will be made by taxis and customers will be charged the fare, plus a €5 delivery fee.

“For now, our delivery service only involves the branch in Pallouriotissa,” said Marinos Hadjichristofi, managing director of Athienitis.

“However, we are currently considering including the supermarket at the Nicosia Mall to our services so as to cover more areas of the capital.”

The online store supermarketcy.com.cy, which was founded in 2011 and has been offering home delivery of groceries throughout the county from way before the start of the pandemic, has announced that they do not have available slots before April 20, due to the increased requests of the past weeks.

Frozen goods supermarkets Blue Island and Food Saver are also offering home delivery through Foody.

Lidl does not operate a home delivery service but is cooperating with volunteers to create tailored packages for people who are in compulsory self-isolation. The packages include cleaning, personal care and food products.

“Supermarkets all over the countries have adapted well to the situation created by the virus,” Cyprus Supermarkets Association general manager Andreas Hadjiadamou told Cyprus Mail.

“Most of them stepped up their communications with customers through social media and are fining way to carry out their business without breaking the rules, which is remarkable.”

Hadjiadamou added that not only big supermarket chains have stepped up their services, “but also smaller stores have realised they needed to go about their business differently from before.”

“Small stores might not have the manpower necessary to operate a home delivery service, but almost all now offer customers the possibilities to pick up their groceries at the entrance of the premises. They are to be praised for their efforts,” he said.

Meanwhile, requests made by volunteers to carry out home deliveries of medicines and essential goods to vulnerable groups without family support have boomed.

Volunteerism Commissioner Yiannakis Yiannaki told Cyprus Mail that around 250 deliveries have been made all over the country so far.

Moreover, 1,300 people have expressed their interest in becoming volunteers for the scheme, of which only 400 have already been approved, in an attempt to limit people’s movement outside their houses.

Yiannaki also said that special deliveries of chloroquine, an anti-malaria medicine used to ease symptoms of coronavirus patients, have been carried out by dedicated teams with special equipment.

“We received the go-ahead of the health ministry and I can confirm that the volunteers delivering chloroquine at home to people with coronavirus are taking all the precautionary measures necessary.

“We instructed all our volunteers to be careful. We need to be precise and disciplined at this delicate moment,” Yiannaki said.

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