Migros, in partnership with aged-care foundation Pro Senectute, will deliver free to anyone over 65 or who has a pre-existing illness which makes them more susceptible to the virus.
Due to the extra strain placed on supermarket workers, delivery is conducted by volunteers who sign up online.
The shopping orders are completed online and are then delivered by volunteers without direct contact. Volunteers are required to comply with the hygiene rules laid out by the Federal Office of Health and are trained on how to deliver the goods via an app.
While delivery is free, customers are encouraged to leave a tip via online means. No cash exchanges hands in order to minimise the risk of passing on the infection.
The service has already been rolled out in the Migros Aare region, which includes the cantons of Bern, Aargau and Solothurn, before being expanded throughout Switzerland in the coming weeks.
The initiative has however attracted criticism, with some arguing that the supermarket chain – which like most others in Switzerland and elsewhere has seen profits increase as a result of the outbreak – should employ delivery staff to assist the at risk, rather than a team of volunteers.
The delivery service is a revival of a similar service which was discontinued in December of 2019 and relied heavily on retirees and people of advanced age to deliver the goods – many of whom now find themselves in the at-risk categories.