Connecticut grocery chain LaBonne's Markets has become the first grocer in the United States to require shoppers to submit to a temperature check before entering the store.
The family-owned chain, founded more than 100 years ago, posted on its Facebook page: "This virus is a moving target and at LaBonne’s Markets we want to be leaders in keeping our 420 associates and our 30,000 weekly customers safe."
The company was already checking the temperature of associates before they started their shifts.
"We will also be checking the temperature of every customer who will be shopping in our stores on a daily basis. I am sorry to say if you refuse to have your temperature taken you will not be allowed to enter the store," CEO Bob LaBonne Jr. wrote on Facebook.
"We are adopting the same policy as all hospitals are presently doing for everyone who enters their buildings. I’m confident other retail businesses will soon start this practice.
Collectively as a community, we must do our best to reduce the curve and prevent our neighbors, friends and family from spreading the virus," LaBonne added.
On Tuesday, the retailer said it would also be "requiring every customer who shops in our stores to wear a mask or mouth/nose covering" beginning on April 20. The Fresh Market has been requiring shoppers to wear masks since April 13.
On the company Facebook page, a statement read: "At the end of all of this, we will be judged on what we did or did not do, and we want to make sure we did everything we could to protect our staff, shoppers, and their families. We are happy to say that it seems as though 90% of our shoppers have already adopted this policy voluntarily, and we are just looking to close the gap on that last 10%."
LaBonne's, based in Woodbury, Conn., has stores in Waterbury, Woodbury, Salisbury and Prospect.