Non-essential high street shops are expected to open today on 15th June, following almost 3 months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. In total, around 7,000 high streets across Britain will officially re-open.
This news will be welcomed by retailers across the UK who has suffered huge financial losses in the hands of coronavirus and the millions of staff that have been furloughed, unemployed or uncertain about the future of their work.
However, all retailers must adhere to some levels of protection against the covid-19 and take important measures to protect their staff and customers. This includes the use of protective screens, plastic gloves, masks and hand sanitisers where applicable.
Many consumers have been told that they may experience longer queues than normal and be limited in terms of what they can touch and whether they can try on clothes or not.
For instance, Primark has confirmed that it is operating on a one-in-one-out policy across its 153 stores in the UK. Bookshop Waterstones says that any recently used or touched books will be placed on a quarantine trolley where they will not be touched again for a ‘couple of days.’ Meanwhile, HMV is allowing customers to drop off a shopping list at the door and collect their items later.
“The public must play their part”
The British Retail Consortium (BRC), is urging the public to “play their part” in making shopping safer by following five key steps. These include maintaining social distancing, following instructions inside and outside shops, adhering to hygiene measures and respecting shop staff.
Helen Dickinson, BRC’s chief executive, said retailers had been “working around the clock” to create a safe shopping environment.
“Our shopping experience may be changing, but if we all follow the necessary social distancing measures and show a little consideration to those around us, then everyone will be better off,” she added.
Other locations to open
Some essential places of work and business have began to open this month including dentists, opticians and primary schools.
Offices spaces in London remain open – as per each company policy, with the number of workers returning to offices gradually increasing, but more than half continuing to work remotely.
Another wave of openings is expected on the 4th July including physiotherapists and hairdressers.