As the COVID-19 crisis lockdown restrictions continue to ease in the UK, many retailers are left wondering how to maintain a safe environment. There’s plenty of advice from the government and local authorities, and that’s an excellent place to start.
But, are you worried that you’re not doing enough, or you’re not doing the right things to protect your staff and customers? And are you finding official advice confusing? The good news is there are definitive steps you can take to make your shop safe from COVID-19.
Here’s what you can do to promote a safe and healthy retail environment for your employees and customers:
1. Limit the people in your shop
First of all, it makes sense to avoid having a packed-out shop – especially during busy periods. COVID-19 is more likely to spread easier in confined, densely-packed spaces. With that in mind, you should limit the employees and customers you have at your premises.
It’s a measure that many retailers have taken, and if your shop is full, you can have a queuing system outside. Most people are used to such measures, especially in places like supermarkets.
2. Remind your customers about social distancing
Whether we like to follow them or not, the government has demanded that everyone practices social distancing where applicable. In your retail shop, for example, you could have social distancing floor graphics – especially near your checkout tills.
Many printers that can provide your shop with social distancing floor graphics, stickers, and posters. As a retailer, it’s not your role to ‘police’ social distancing at your premises. Passively reminding customers of their social distancing duties makes sense.
3. Set up hand sanitiser stations
The sad truth about the general public is that you can’t rely on everyone to employ good personal hygiene measures. But, what you can do is make it easier for your customers to keep their hands clean by setting up hand sanitiser stations.
You can set one up by the entrance to your premises so customers can sanitise their hands when they enter and exit. Other places for hand sanitiser stations include checkout tills and in areas where only staff are allowed, such as behind counters or in stock rooms.
4. Encourage staff and customers to use PPE
PPE or Personal Protective Equipment in the context of COVID-19 is masks, visors, and gloves. At the time of writing, customers to most retail shops must wear a mask unless they are exempt.
But whether your retail shop staff must do so by law or not, you should ask your team to wear masks and gloves when dealing with the public. Doing so lessens the risk of COVID-19 getting transmitted between people.
5. Have a rigorous cleaning regime
Last but not least, you should ensure that your retail shop has a high standard of cleanliness. For instance, countertops and workspaces, cash registers and card machines should get disinfected and cleaned several times each hour.
There is some evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for a short time. With that in mind, wiping down commonly-used surfaces helps to keep COVID-19 transmission rates between staff and customers low.