LONDON, ONT -- Some 'over 60' residents took advantage of new seniors' hours at several grocery and pharmacies set up in the wake of COVID-19.

Loblaw franchises, including most Shoppers Drug Mart locations, and some regional grocery stores are the first to offer shopping hours just for seniors.

In most cases, stores are dedicating the first one or two hours to “customers that need assistance or consideration, including seniors and people living with disabilities.”

Those under 60 are being asked to stay away during those hours, to give seniors space to move freely around the stores.

“I never heard of that. What a good idea!” says Carol Hier, a London senior.

She was among those lined up to get in as the Shoppers Drug Mart at Adelaide Street and Southdale Road opened at 9 a.m.

Laura Taylor took her mom, Pat Brown, during the specified time.

“I am very happy, that way I can take her and make sure she does not get {COVID-19]."

Brown goes further, saying she hopes everyone protects seniors like herself, “Wash your hands, that is the main thing, and wash them well.”

Shoppers Drug Mart announced the changes Monday night, but advised the public to confirm their local Shoppers location was participating. The decision to vary hours can depend on the franchisee.

To go along with their dedicated hour, Shoppers Drug Mart will also offer a 20 per cent seniors discount on regular priced items for the first hour every day.

The chain’s move follows a precedent already being set by other local grocers.

The Value Mart in Aylmer will also be offering a dedicated shopping hour at the start of each day for anyone over 65 years of age. The store will open for the wider public at 9 a.m.

Your Independent Grocer in Ingersoll will have shopping from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. for anyone over 65 years of age as well.