Kemp, trade groups issue sanitation advice to consumers and retailers

Sam’s Club workers sanitized shopping carts as customers lined up over the length of a football field at Sam’s Club located at 2901 Clairmont Rd in DeKalb County on Friday, April3, 2020. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM
Sam’s Club workers sanitized shopping carts as customers lined up over the length of a football field at Sam’s Club located at 2901 Clairmont Rd in DeKalb County on Friday, April3, 2020. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

Wash your hands. Use contactless payment methods or pay ahead of pickup or delivery of goods if you can. Clean your debit and credit cards after each use.

Gov. Brian Kemp and the trade groups for Georgia’s food industry, payments and retail sectors urged these and other steps for consumers and merchants to protect one another from the coronavirus.

In a news release, Kemp and the trade groups also advised consumers to clean cards with alcohol, hand sanitizer or soap after shopping and to refrain from handing payment cards to merchants if at all possible. Consumers also should use their own pens (or styluses for touchscreen signatures) at points of sale.

For merchants and owners of automated teller machines (ATMs), Kemp and the American Transaction Processors Coalition, the Georgia Food Industry Association and the Georgia Retail Association recommend frequent disinfecting of terminals, the checkout area and surfaces workers and customers would regularly touch.

Last week, Kemp issued a shelter-in-place order that put in place new limits on businesses, including in-person dining at restaurants. Many restaurants have shifted to takeout and delivery service.

Some grocery stores have altered hours and instituted new cleaning and social distancing practices to protect customers and staff.

Kemp’s shelter-in-place order allows merchants to suspend use of PIN pads and signature requirements if such steps are allowed by financial institution agreements, the release said. Retailers “should ensure EBT card users can continue to access PIN pads to enter this information during transactions,” the release said.