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Publix supermarkets to open longer, eliminate special shopping hours starting Saturday

Publix hours

Like most retailers, Publix installed plexiglass shields during the coronavirus outbreak. The grocer will expand its shopping hours and eliminate special shopping times starting Saturday. Provided

Publix supermarkets will expand its shopping hours Saturday after abbreviating them during the coronavirus outbreak. It also will eliminate special shopping hours for certain groups.

The Florida-based grocery chain will be open 7 a.m.-9 p.m., and pharmacies will return to normal operating hours. Stores currently are open 8 a.m.-8 p.m., a policy put in place after the pandemic began in March.

Designated shopping hours for customers over the age of 65, first responders and health care workers are being discontinued, but Publix encourages customers who prefer to shop when the store is less crowded to come in during the early-morning hour.

Stores will continue to exercise health-care protocols put in place over the past two months to help stop the spread of the virus.

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They include additional cleaning and preventive sanitation before and after store hours, including sanitizing high-touch surfaces frequently throughout the day.

Also, workers must wear face coverings and can wear disposable gloves, and customers will hear frequent intercom announcements and will continue to see signage and floor decals to maintain 6-foot social distancing.

One-way shopping aisles will remain in place along with plexiglass shields at all registers, pharmacies and customer service counters. Contactless payment is encouraged, and store managers can limit the number of customers inside if necessary.

Publix operates 14 supermarkets and one specialty store in the Charleston area. Another store is planned for Beech Hill Road near the Summers Corner development south of Summerville.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.

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