Step two of the UK Government’s roadmap out of lockdown including the re-opening of non-essential retail premises, started 12th April 2021.
Hopefully, retail owners and managers will have everything in place to protect their employees and customers.
The government haven’t issued any new advice as yet, however, the guidance for those outlets regarded as “essential” sets out eight steps which are likely to remain in place until Step Four when all social restrictions will hopefully be lifted.
Step One – Covid risk assessment
Make sure that you have completed an assessment and communicated the findings with your employees. You should also display the Government sign indicating that this has been done.
Step Two – Cleaning
You will need to ensure that all commonly touched surfaces are cleaned thoroughly and often. You should also provide hand sanitiser and ask your employees and customers to wash their hands and to use it frequently.
Step Three – Face coverings
Customers and staff should be reminded to wear face coverings at all times when indoors, unless they have a reasonable exemption. This can be achieved simply by displaying signage/posters on your premises and at the store entrance. This is an important control measure in preventing the spread of Covid-19, however you are not responsible for enforcing the wearing of face coverings by customers.
Step Four – Social distancing
Make sure that you limit the number of people allowed on to your premises at any time and provide safe, clear routes around the store to enable customers and staff to maintain two metres distance.
Step Five – Ventilation
The more clean-air changes are made, the safer your premises will be. Check with your air-conditioning engineers that your system is drawing in clean, fresh air and not merely recirculating air from one space to another.
Step Six – Testing
There are now two types of testing available to the public. PCR testing, for those people displaying symptoms or advised by NHS, Test and Trace, etc. The other is lateral flow testing which produces results in half an hour. Lateral flow testing is intended to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Employers can now order rapid lateral flow tests to test employees with no coronavirus symptoms.
If an employer decides to carry out lateral flow testing on their premises it is essential they do so in an appropriate setting, with control measures in place to manage the risk of transmission during the testing process. These controls should include social distancing, increased cleaning, good hygiene and ventilation, including those areas where staff wait for their results.
Whilst testing isn’t mandatory anyone contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to isolate must do so.
Step Seven – Restrict and Refuse
Make sure that any staff member turning up for work, or a customer displaying symptoms, are reminded that they should stay at home.
Step Eight – Mental Health and Wellbeing
These are difficult times for many of us, and it is important that retail managers and owners put in place steps to promote positive mental health messages.
If you need any assistance at any stage of this process, please contact us on 03456 122144 and we’ll be happy to help.
Chris Ivey, Consultant Director