In light of the recent announcement that non-essential businesses will be permitted to reopen from 15 June, the UK government has issued updated guidance for shops and branches to work safely during the COVID-19 crisis. The latest guidance includes additional measures that retailers can take to limit contact in stores and to provide clear guidance to consumers.

Key updates:

  • more extensive definition for shops (including all retail stores antique houses and art galleries) and  branches (including post offices)
  • customers encouraged to use hand sanitiser/handwashing facilities on entering and prevented from handling products when browsing
  • to deter use of public transport, retailers should work together to provide additional parking
  • queues outside stores should be managed to ensure they do not pose a risk to the public
  • retailers to work together to spread the number of customers e.g. staggering opening hours.
  • inform customers that they may need to remove face coverings safely if asked to do so 
  • all information signage should be fully accessible (for example to those that are visually impaired)
  • fitting rooms to be closed and only used when essential e.g. key worker buying protective clothing
  • items recently returned or donated should be kept separately for 72 hours before displaying 
  • coverings on large items that may require customer testing for use (e.g. furniture) and clean touchpoints (e.g. rental equipment) after each use.

For more information, our previous alert sets out some common themes from EU government safety guidance for store reopening. Read more here.