Throughout the lockdown in France, this service station in north Morainvilliers, thirty kilometers outside Paris, employees have experienced a clear shift in priorities during their daily morning briefing.
Mohamed Fharane: “The new safety rules, as you know, have been written up on the special Covid board. First, you have to respect social distancing. Disinfect everything you work with – the cash register, telephone, microphone… put cling film on the microphone and the payment terminal.”
MF: “I’m counting on you!”
The site has remained open throughout the lockdown, but gasoline sales have plummeted by 76%, almost as much as traffic in the Ile de France region. Precaution has been, and remains, the watchword,, and an extensive plan to disinfect all installations has been introduced.
MF: “For customers filling up with gasoline, we have a disinfection schedule. Every hour, we disinfect the card payment touchscreens and the nozzles. Gloves are available at the checkout for customers to use, and paper towels next to the pumps.”
The health safety rules inside the building have also been reinforced.
MF: “First we closed access to the store and and started taking payments through the parcel hatch, to protect both staff and customers. For our employees we provided hand sanitizer, materials for disinfecting their equipment at the beginning and end of every shift, Plexiglas, masks and gloves. For customers, we set up a flow system towards the restrooms and coffee machines.
“You can relax, take a shower, use the bathroom, have a coffee, and have a proper break, as required every four and a half hours.”
“Thanks to the parcel hatch, things remain fairly convenient. We can still buy biscuits, sandwiches, drinks....”
“You can still buy things at the checkout, so that’s something.”
“I think that this service station has adapted well to the circumstances”
Djamal Outbib: “We clean everything, the doors, washbasins, coffee machines. It takes ten minutes. You mustn’t forget.”
Since lockdown was lifted across France on May 11, the store has been reopened, but markings on the floor guide shoppers through a flow system to the checkout, and hand sanitizer is available for all customers.
“It’s great that people are protected. We are protected and the staff is protected.”
“As far as I’m concerned, it was absolutely essential for local services.”