Leave it on the doorstep: Deliveroo starts contactless delivery

FILE PHOTO: A cyclist delivers food for Deliveroo in London, Britain, September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British food delivery service Deliveroo said it will allow orders to be left outside people’s addresses so that the courier does not have to come into contact with the customer, to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus.

As people in Britain increasingly stay at home to avoid catching or spreading the virus, concerns have been raised that an increased demand for food delivery services would cause it to be spread by delivery staff as go from home to home.

Under a new option available next week, Deliveroo customers will be able to use the app to request a no-contact drop-off service.

Deliveroo has already provided restaurants with extra packaging to keep food protected from the virus during the preparation and delivery process.

In Britain, more than 450 people have tested positive for coronavirus and eight have died.

The government announced last week that it would ease sick pay rules, reducing the minimum number of days a worker has to be off work for before qualifying for pay.

But the measure was criticized by the Trades Union Congress umbrella group for not helping self-employed workers, such as Deliveroo’s 15,000 couriers, and those in the gig economy who do not meet the earnings threshold for statutory sick pay.

Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Stephen Addison