Shop rules: new safety measures and social distancing for stores explained as non-essential retailers prepare to open next week

Outdoor markets and car showrooms are now open again, with non-essential shops set to reopen on 15 June

By Helen Johnson
Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 10:09 am

But numerous rules will be put in place to keep both employees and customers safe when shops reopen.

Here’s what you need to know.

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Car showrooms and outdoor markets are now open again, with non-essential shops set to reopen on 15 June (Photo: Shutterstock)

Which safety measures will be in place in stores?

Before customers enter branches, the new rules and measures will be clearly set out with posters, signs and visual aids on windows and doors.

Fitting rooms will be closed, with customers unable to try on clothes under new rules when non-essential shops reopen.

Shoppers will also have to pay using cashless methods wherever possible. One-way systems and barriers will be put in place, similar to how supermarkets have been operating over the past few months.

However, queuing should be done outside a shop or in a car park, not inside a shop, and outside queues must be managed to minimise risk.

Shoppers will also be asked to sanitise their hands upon entry to the stores, all staff will have to increase the number of times that they wash their hands, and surfaces will have to be regularly cleaned.

Temperature checks on arrival will not be compulsory, but screens and barriers will be installed.

Customers will only be allowed to touch items that they intend to buy, and there will be frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly.

This will include self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines or staff handheld devices.

Only one person per household will be allowed in at a time, unless you are a parent with a young child.

Every shop with five employees or more will have to complete a written risk assessment, detailing how it plans to keep staff and customers safe.

All retail stores will have 'drop off areas', where goods can be transferred over to colleagues.

Any returned goods will have to be stored away from sale for 72 hours before being returned to the shop floor.

What about social distancing and queuing?

Shops will have to set a maximum number of customers allowed in at any one time in order to maintain two metre social distancing.

Shopping centres will have to regulate the number of people allowed in, alongside managing queuing.

Retailers will also need to assign designated positions from which employees can provide advice or assistance to customers whilst keeping social distancing measures in place.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “Customers will be encouraged to use hand sanitiser and advised not to pick up items as they browse.

“Clothing stores have been told to shut fitting rooms where possible, other than for the purpose of enabling staff to change into protective clothing.”