A cafe in Sydney has put a ban on reusable cups in an attempt to minimise risk during the coronavirus outbreak.
Sydney’s Bonnie Coffee, located on Margaret Street in the CBD, has issued a notice to customers that “customer-owned” cups like Keep Cups will not be permitted during this time.
“In response to ongoing concern around the COVID-19 Coronavirus, Bonnie Coffee is taking some extra precautions to ensure both customers and staff members are safe from potential infection,” the statement on the door read.
“For the coming weeks we will suspend the use of customer-owned reusable cups to prevent foreign objects from being introduced to the beverage preparation space.”
In addition to the reusable cup ban, the cafe has also introduced a disinfectant station and have instructed staff to be extra vigilant when it comes to food handling and sanitation throughout the cafe.
“Customers will find alcohol sanitiser available for their use at various locations around the store,”
“Staff members will be increasing sanitation efforts across the cafe as an added safety measure, particularly in food and beverage preparation.”
The announcement comes a day after Starbucks introduced the reusable cup ban in all stores in the US, UK and Canada.
Although the ban seems counterintuitive after we’ve finally begun to normalise BYO cups, hygiene experts have asserted that this isn’t a case of being too paranoid.
According to Professor Sally Bloomfield from London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, hygiene should take a “greater priority” than environmental concerns during the coronavirus outbreak.
“We don’t know how serious [the virus] is, we are in a completely unknown phase of this, and I think in terms of preventing the spread, for the next three or four weeks then it should take a greater priority than an environmental concerns,” she said, according to BBC.
“Handing someone a reusable cup is just the same as shaking hands with somebody. If there’s anything we can do at the moment to slow down the spread, we should be doing it.”
It’s not known if the Melbourne branch of Bonnie Coffee, which is located on Collins Street, will adopt the same precautions.