Deliveroo launches no-contact drop-off service to protect staff from coronavirus

Takeaway provider Deliveroo is to launch a new 'no contact' drop-off service for customers to help manage the spread of coronavirus.

The company said the initiative has been put in place in light of the killer bug, to help safeguard members, riders and restaurants.

It said that as well as providing restaurants with additional packaging and stickers to seal off their delivery bags, it is also launching a no-contact drop-off service that will mean customers can request for the food to be left on their doorstep – removing the need for any contact.

Last week, ministers spoke out on how supermarkets would have to manage food deliveries for customers who had been told to self-quarantine.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the Government was working closely with retailers to ensure that people who self-isolate at home can get essential supplies.

It came as supermarkets revealed they were facing seven-day delays on online orders, while Tesco and Waitrose introduced limits on online orders to stop shoppers stockpiling.

Experts have warned that up to one in five people could be off work at the peak of a crisis, which could involve huge numbers of deliveries.

  • How much food you really need to prepare for two weeks in self-isolation

But one supermarket group told the BBC that they did not believe there would be enough capacity.

"We can't switch a whole load of new vans on overnight," a source said.

The Health Secretary raised the idea of supermarkets ferrying supplies to those who were isolated as he appeared on the BBC's Question Time last week.

"Crucially we are working with the supermarkets to make sure that if people are self-isolating then they will be able to get the food and supplies that the people need," he said.

The British Retail Consortium has said that its members are happy to leave essential deliveries on the doorstep for people who self-isolate.

However, staff at one grocer have said they could consider legal action if their health is placed at risk.

Tesco delivery drivers have advised each other to take their employer to court if they have to deliver food to people who "they are aware of being in self-isolation" at home due to the coronavirus.

In a forum for Tesco employees, the drivers questioned whether or not it was a fair request to be asked to take food shopping into the homes of those who may have Covid 19.

One driver said there had been a letter distributed around various stores that stated drivers would still have to deliver to customers who had been told to self-isolate.

In response, another employee urged them to take the company to court as they claimed it was a breach of its duty of care.

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