New safety guidance for retailers reopening their stores safely. Find out more and join the free webinar on Thursday 28 May here.
All non-essential retailers will be able to reopen in England from 15 June, Boris Johnson has announced, as part of plans to further ease the lockdown. However, the move is “contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus”, and retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. Markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June.
In response the Government has published new safety guidance to help retailers reopen safely, and will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday 28th May 2020 to help retail businesses navigate their way through the advice. June 1st is the provisional date given to non-essential retailers to begin a phased re-opening. The purpose of the guide is to help prepare stores to re-open safely.
Retailers have been told to make every effort to comply with social distancing. However where this is not possible they are advised to take mitigating measures including:
• Reviewing store layouts
• Screens or barriers to separate people from each other
• Side-to-side or back-to-back working (rather than face-to-face) where possible
• Staggering the arrival and departure times of employees to avoid overcrowding
• Additional parking or bike racks to encourage employees to travel to work without using public transport
• Reducing movement around stores with the encouraged use of radios or telephones for communication
• A one-way flow system through stores with floor markings and signage
• Staff should also be grouped into shift patterns or pairings to reduce contact as much as possible
• Meetings should be limited and break times should be staggered with packaged meals provided to avoid opening staff canteens
• Hand-washing facilities and cleaning materials should be made readily available.
To manage customers, retailers are encouraged to:
• Define the number of customers that can reasonably follow two metre physical distancing within the store
• Limit the number of customers in-store and encourage them to shop alone
• Have more than one entry point in larger stores to reduce congestion
• Use floor markings and signage to aid social distancing
• Use contactless payment where possible
• Suspend or reduce customer services that cannot be undertaken without breaking social distancing guidelines
• Use outside space for queuing where possible
Meanwhile, fitting rooms should also be carefully considered and only used where necessary. Retailers have been advised to limit customers’ handling of merchandise through different display methods or rotation of high-touch stock.
When handling returns these should be no contact where possible with goods taken to designated areas. Returns should also be kept separate from displayed merchandise to reduce likelihood of transmission.
Moreover, shopping centres have been advised to take responsibility for the regulation of the number of customers in centres.
An additional £14 million has been made available to the Health and Safety Executive to support businesses in making stores and workplaces safe.
The government advised that additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial.
Join the free webinar
Please do join the free webinar, hosted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy , to find out more about how to make your retail workplace COVID-secure.
Thursday 28 May, 11am: Shops and branches – Guidance for people who run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
To amplify this message, please do share a tweet from BEIS sharing guidance for shops and branches reopening.
Download advice from East Lindsey District Council
In addition our friends at East Lindsey District Council have out together a superb document that gives advice for small retailers during COVID-19 which you can access here.