June 19 2020 0Comment

Changes on the high street as shops start to reopen

From June 22, the Welsh Government has given the greenlight for non-essential stores to reopen. But it is not a case of going back to normal completely. There will be many measures in place to enforce social distancing and keep people safe when shopping.
Stores will need to implement a range of measures to ensure their customers and staff stay safe. We have helped many of them clean their premises ahead of reopening. Here are some of the additional guidelines shops have been asked to consider:

  1. Define the number of customers that can reasonably follow 2m social distancing within the store and any outdoor selling areas. Take into account total floor space as well as likely pinch points and busy areas.
  2. Limit the number of customers in the store, overall and in any particular congestion areas, for example, doorways between outside and inside space.
  3. Encourage customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products while browsing.
  4. Encourage customers to avoid handling products whilst browsing, if at all possible.
  5. Suspend or reducing customer services that cannot be undertaken without contravening social distancing guidelines. This may include re-thinking how assistance is provided, for example, using fixed pairs of colleagues to lift heavy objects rather than a single colleague lifting with a customer
  6. Encourage customers to shop alone where possible, unless they need specific assistance.
  7. Remind customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.
  8. Look at how people walk through the shop and how you could adjust this to reduce congestion and contact between customers, for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.
  9. Ensure any changes to entries, exit and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled shoppers.
  10. Work within your local area to provide additional parking or facilities such as bike racks, where possible, to help customers avoid using public transport.
  11. Use outside premises for queuing where available and safe, for example, some car parks
  12. Manage outside queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers.
  13. Shopping centres should take responsibility for regulating the number of customers in the centre and the queuing process in communal areas on behalf of their retail.
  14. Clearly designate positions from which colleagues can provide advice or assistance to customers whilst maintaining social distance.
  15. Work with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to consider how to spread the number of people arriving throughout the day for example by staggering opening hours; this will help reduce demand on public transport at key times and avoid overcrowding.
  16. Continue to keep customer restaurants and cafes closed until further notice, apart from when offering hot or cold food to be consumed off the premises.

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