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Government releases guidance on re-opening stores

Lauretta Roberts
12 May 2020

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's confirmation yesterday that non-essential retailers, including fashion retailers, may be able to open their stores from 1 June, detailed guidance has been issued on how to prepare for re-opening and how to operate safely once open.

The guidance has been published on the Government's website and says in order to be allowed to re-open retailers must ensure they have taken several steps, such as a deep clean of their premises, checking air conditioning and the implementation of social distancing measures.

Once open stores must limit the number of customers allowed on to the premises to ensure social distancing of 2m can be maintained at all times.

Other measures include signage in multiple locations to remind staff and customers of the importance of good hygiene, providing sanitiser in multiple locations, in addition to any washrooms. Paper towels should be offered instead of hand dryers.

While fitting rooms may be used retailers are advised to take measures to ensure the process is sanitary including regular cleaning of the areas (after every use if possible) and delaying the return of tried-on garments to the shop floor.

Fitting assistance, whereby staff help customers with fitting such as bra fittings, should be suspended.

Retailers are also encouraged to institute "contactless returns" and to keep returned items separate from store merchandise to avoid contamination through touch.

The wearing of face coverings has not been made mandatory but should individuals need to wear them, then full advice on hygiene and best practice has been provided.

Today the New West End Company, which represents business in London's busiest shopping district, said it had been undertaking a deep clean of streets in the West End and supporting retailers by installing markers on pavements to facilitate socially distanced queuing.

The full Government guidance can be read here.

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