All non-essential retail stores in England will be able to open their doors again from 15 June to the public, as long as they follow the guidelines that have been put in place to protect both employees and customers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.
Mr Johnson said:
Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen.
This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.
I want people to be confident that they can shop safely, provided they follow the social distancing rules for all premises.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, believes this announcement gives the retail sector “much needed clarity”.
Ms Dickinson said:
Safety is the fundamental concern for all retailers and they have been working hard to implement the necessary measures to operate safely over the past weeks. Now that we know which shops can open and when, retailers can begin communicating their plans with their workforces and customers. The industry stands ready to play its part in getting the economy moving again.
The guidelines state:
- That a risk assessment must be taken before opening once again. This risk assessment must be written down unless the company has less than five employees or you are self-employed.
- Retailers must also consider who should actually return to work. If an employee is classed as “clinically extremely vulnerable” they should be advised to work at home. The same goes for those who are “clinically vulnerable” or suffer from a pre-existing condition and should also work from home.
- If staff fall in to one of these categories but cannot work from home then they should be offered the “safest available onsite roles”.
- If social distancing cannot be enforced during a certain work activity, the business should consider if the activity continues. Employers should promote additional hand washing, not face-to-face working but back-to-back or side-to-side. The number of workers in a lift should be kept to a minimum and areas which are used often by staff such as canteens, locker rooms and corridors should be regulated.
- The amount of customers entering the retail shop is another factor. They must be controlled and shops should work with neighboring businesses to make sure queues are safe. Ideally, customers should not touch items when browsing and use hand sanitiser when entering.
- The area of the business itself needs to be cleaned regularly, such as tills, trolleys, self-checkout machines and betting machines.
Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.