As well as giving full pay to employees who have been identified as needing to self-isolate for 12 weeks, the company said it was offering fully paid leave to anyone who is vulnerable, such as over 70-year-olds or those who are pregnant, as well as the carers of vulnerable people.
Asda said it will provide vulnerable workers with 12 weeks' pay to allow them to self-isolate and protect their health and that of their family.
Hayley Tatum, Asda's chief people officer, said: ‘Protecting our customers and colleagues has always been our main priority throughout these uncertain times and we want to do everything we can to help keep them and their families safe.
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‘We don't want any of our colleagues worrying about being paid if they need to self-isolate as a result of coronavirus which is why we've take the decision to pay them for the next 12 weeks.
‘I am so incredibly proud of our colleagues and all of their hard work through this difficult time, as they continue to support our customers and their community’.
Coronavirus: the facts
What is coronavirus?
Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.
What caused coronavirus?
The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.
How is it spread?
As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.
What are the symptoms?
The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.
What precautions can be taken?
Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.
Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS