Coronavirus: The Sheffield businesses going above and beyond to protect customers as they vow to remain open

Businesses are undertaking scrupulous cleaning to ensure they are safe for customers to visit during the coronavirus outbreak.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 3:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 3:55 pm

A beauty salon, a cafe and a pub in Sheffield have spoken about how they are adapting to ensure their businesses are safe for customers as coronavirus continues to spread.

The salon:

The beauty industry will be one of the hardest hit by coronavirus because of the skin on skin contact at spas, nail bars, hairdressers and salons.

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Vittles cafe says public health is a priority

Southey councillor Jayne Dunn has owned a beauty salon at Broomhill for the past 20 years and is taking stringent measures.

She said: "I have always prided myself on hygiene but now you can smell the Dettol from outside my salon.

"As soon as anybody walks through the door I have a spray and they wash their hands and I have asked people not to come in if they have any signs of coronavirus.

"I've rearranged my appointments so there is never more than one customer at a time in or there is enough space so they can self distance from each other.

Jayne Dunn

"I have also cancelled appointments with a couple of clients who were in their 80s for their own protection.

"I have had a number of cancellations which I totally understand but how long will this go on for? I don't know what more I can do?

"I only have five face masks left but I don't want to order more as I think medical staff are the ones who really should be accessing them before anybody else."

The cafe:

The Harlequin pub is set to remain open despite the government urging members of the public to avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus

Michael Caswell is the owner of nearby Vittles cafe and says public health is a priority.

"We as a business understand this but some people will need to eat out or grab a coffee, such as the NHS workers that we serve from the nearby hospitals.

"To ensure that we can make this place as safe as possible for our visitors we have removed tables to create more space for our customers, we have supplies of antibacterial hand wash, hot water and a hand dryer.

"We have even installed a no hands tap to ensure there is no cross contamination. Added to this every sauce bottle, sugar container etc is removed from each table and wiped with antibacterial after each use.

Vittles cafe says public health is a priority

"A list of all the measures we are taking would fill the Albert Hall and I'm sure all other businesses are taking similar measures.

"That is all we can do for now. The government is right to try and stem the virus, we will assist in this as much as we can should the public visit our premises."

The pub:

When the Prime Minister said people should consider staying away from pubs and restaurants, it was a huge blow to the trade but the Harlequin pub on Nursery Street is still welcoming customers.

It's made a number of changes so customers can keep a safe distance from each other and has also cancelled its live music events but the beer is still flowing.

Liz Aspden from the pub said: "Because we're a food business, hygiene has always been important to us - we spend a lot of time cleaning and sanitising as a matter of course, so that hasn't changed much.

Coun Jayne Dunn

"We have made disposable gloves available for bar staff in case they feel uneasy handling dirty glasses and plates but other than that, there have been no major changes with hygiene.

"The biggest change for us has been with social distancing. We've decided to cancel our live music events in light of the guidance.

"In order to provide a good atmosphere for customers and bands, we need the place to be nice and busy, and given what we know about the spread of the virus that seems unwise at the moment.

"If we're not forced to close, we'll continue to monitor - and if necessary restrict - the number of people in the pub to ensure that people have plenty of space around them at all times."

The Government:

The government says pubs and restaurants can now operate as takeaways and will relax planning regulations.

Venues will be able to offer hot food for takeaways - but not alcoholic drinks - temporarily for up to 12 months.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “These changes will provide vital flexibility to pubs and restaurants and will ensure people are able to safely stay at home while still supporting some of the great local businesses across this country.”