Many non-essential businesses have been given permission to re-open from 15 June 2020. Ahead of this date, BCP Council has issued advice for those businesses looking to re-open, to help make sure every effort is made to protect customers and staff from coronavirus.
Not all businesses have been given the green light for 15 June. Hairdressers, hotels, pubs, places of worship and leisure centres are a few of the businesses that must stay closed for now. For those businesses that can re-open, they must undergo a risk assessment to ensure the workplace is safe for everyone concerned. After this, BCP Council has suggested a number of measures that can help customers feel safe returning to businesses as we take a tentative step towards a sense of normality:
Shopping centres and other public spaces, including pavements, are to be divided in exactly the same way as roads, accompanied by the message ‘Keep Safe, Keep Left’ to help guide shoppers along walkways.
Communicate with neighbouring businesses
If you are a business owner who expects there to be lengthy queues when you re-open, talk to your neighbours about handling the situation. Consider how you will prevent queues from clashing or blocking the entrance of other businesses and talk to them to decide the best approach. Marking queuing space with social distancing guidance for customers is an effective way to keep everyone safe and prevent disruption to other businesses.
To prevent overcrowding in busy public areas, have a clearly marked ‘end of queue’ point, so that customers know if the queue is full, they will need to return later.
Provide clear signposting for customers
Everyone feels more secure when they can see and understand the measures you’ve taken to keep your business safe and sanitary. Display a notice confirming staff are following guidance and make sure your customers can see the efforts you’re making to protect them.
Stay up-to-date and know your limits
Check government advice and legislation regularly to make sure you’re compliant. You might normally provide seating outdoors for customers who buy your food and drink but this is currently prohibited. Keeping up with the latest information means staying on the right side of the regulations.
Beware of hotspots
Certain public areas are and will remain ‘hotspots’ for the public and while these areas may be outside of your control, BCP Council is asking businesses to be vigilant. They have created an email address and an online form through which you can report any area you feel is endangering public health through failing to enforce social distancing.