Major supermarkets in the the United States and the United Kingdom are closing their fresh meat and seafood counters in response to the coronavirus.

UK supermarket retailer Sainsbury's is closing fresh fish counters beginning Thursday as part of its strategy to deal with the coronavirus health crisis -- one of an increasing number of retailers making the move.

The supermarket chain's CEO Mike Coupe said the move, which also includes the closure of meat and pizza counters, means it can free up warehouse and truck capacity for products that customers really need.

It is also aimed at freeing up time for store workers to focus on keeping shelves as well stocked as possible.

So far, fresh fish counters in French supermarkets are serving normally, a retail industry source said.

Kroger closes counters

In the United States, supermarket giant Kroger said Wednesday it is closing all full-service meat and seafood counters, as well as salad bars to free up employees for other jobs in its stores.

"It's not due to concerns about spreading is all just to reallocate resources to make sure the shelves are stocked," Kroger spokesperson Erin Rolfes told the media.

She said steaks, seafood, and lunch meat will be sliced and packaged overnight and placed in coolers for customers to grab.

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