Amidst growing fear of the coronavirus, Pizza Hut has introduced a “contactless delivery” option in China, Business Insider reports.
“The health and wellbeing of our employees and customers is our top priority, and the innovative new services will help reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus and protect our employees and customers,” parent company Yum China told Business Insider.
When placing orders online, Pizza Hut customers in China can opt for “contactless delivery.” Couriers will wait until the customer shows up before they take the pizza out of the hot bag and place it at a delivery location agreed upon in advance. The delivery person will then step back to a distance of at least 10 feet and watch as the customer retrieves the food and leaves.
Delivery personnel are required to wear protective masks and to disinfect their hands and the boxes after delivering the food, Yum China said.
Pizza Hut’s sister company, KFC, will adhere to the same contactless delivery practices. Pizza Hut and KFC are also testing a contactless in-store pickup service at some locations.
Although there are a lot of questions about how the coronavirus, technically known as 2019-nCoV spreads, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the coronavirus is usually transmitted through close contact—within about six feet—mainly when an infected person coughs or sneezes. “These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs,” the CDC says. “It’s currently unclear if a person can get 2019-nCoV by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.”
Shares of YUM China and other food and beverage companies, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, have fallen as fear of the coronavirus mounts in the country, according to CNBC. Yum China’s shares fell 5 percent.
Eighty-one people in China have died from the virus so far, and 2,900 people have been infected, CNBC reports.