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Coronavirus: Resources for businesses to operate safely

The resources and information on this page are designed to help local customer-facing businesses to operate safely.

National lockdown: Advice for business owners and operators

National lockdown restrictions are currently in place. You must keep on protecting your customers and helping them to protect themselves.

The following tips are for business owners and operators who remain open under lockdown restrictions.

Before their visit

  • Where possible, encourage customers to phone-in, use an app, or offer another method for them to place their orders before they visit.

Entering your business

  • Calculate how many customers can queue in the shop safely to maintain 2 metres social distancing and display this result clearly at the entrance to avoid confusion.
  • We recommend that you provide floor markings outside at 2-meter intervals if queues to enter the business are expected, to assist with effective social distancing.
  • Queues to enter the business should be managed to ensure that safe social distancing is observed, as well as to avoid causing an obstruction on the street.

Inside your premises

  • Ensure that customer ordering and waiting areas are not overcrowded by sticking to the maximum customer calculation.
  • Try to encourage customers to wear a face covering correctly. It should cover both their mouth and nose.
  • Use floor markings to aid in effective 2-meter spacing for your customers.Try to avoid customers waiting by doors offering entry or exit from the business.

Following their visit

  • Try to encourage customers to vacate the area as soon as possible once they have collected their purchase. Gatherings in groups is not permitted by law.

Posters to download and print

National lockdown restrictions posters

The following posters feature current government messaging. Download and print them to display in your premises.

NHS Test and Trace QR code poster

Support the NHS Test and Trace service by displaying a QR code poster unique to your premises. Businesses are legally required to do this from September 24.

GOV.UK: Create a coronavirus NHS QR code poster

Opening guidelines poster

Tell your customers when you are open and any distancing guidelines that are in place.

Download the Opening guidelines shopping poster

Health and Safety Executive poster

Demonstrate your compliance with health and safety guidelines using this Health and Safety Executive (HSE) poster.

Download the Health and Safety Executive poster

Maintaining social distancing in your store

The advice below is to help business owners re-open their stores in a way that is safe for staff and customers.

This advice was compiled in June 2020. For the latest guidance on social distancing requirements for businesses, visit GOV.UK: Working safely during coronavirus

Customer numbers

  • Define the number of customers that can reasonably follow social distancing within the store and any outdoor selling areas. Take into account total floorspace as well as likely pinch points and busy areas.
  • Limit the number of customers in the store, overall and in any particular congestion areas, for example doorways between outside and inside spaces.

Advice to give your customers

  • Encourage customers to shop alone where possible, unless they need specific assistance.
  • Remind customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Encourage customers to use hand sanitiser as they enter and discourage handling products whilst browsing, if at all possible.

Making changes to your store layout

  • Look at how people walk through the shop and how you could adjust this to reduce congestion and contact, for example, queue management or one-way flow.
  • Use outside premises for queuing where available and safe.
  • Ensure any changes take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled shoppers.
  • Manage outside queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers.

Making changes to your services

  • Suspend or reduce customer services that cannot be undertaken without contravening social distancing guidelines. This may include re-thinking how assistance is provided, for example, using fixed pairs of colleagues to lift heavy objects rather than a single colleague lifting with a customer.

Risk assessment

Complete your risk assessment – you will need this to display your COVID-19 Safe Poster

Make the most of your window display

With shorter or different opening hours and customers queuing in front of them, now is the time for many businesses to rethink how their window displays can work even harder to increase sales. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Make your window attractive and interesting – your customers have time to explore with their eyes while they are waiting.
  2. Make sure your shopfront is clean and glass crystal clear.
  3. Make a plan and rotate your display regularly to maintain ongoing interest.
  4. If you are proud of your display/s shout about it – photograph them and post on social media.
  5. Use your window for competitions to make visitors look harder at what you have got – Find something ‘hidden’, answer a question – related to what you sell.
  6. Most customers will be need-driven – they will know what they want before they come in – especially if they have to queue first and maybe conscious of time. So, think about what else you sell that a customer might add to their main reason for shopping with you? Load your window, where they may be waiting inside, and till area, all with quality impulse buys to build your average sale.
  7. Do you offer click and collect (if no, why not?) or home delivery options? Well tell customers clearly in the window along with how they can find you online – don’t lose the sale if they come to buy and find you shut or too busy for them to wait! Make yourself ‘convenient’ to buy from and exciting when they shop in person!
  8. Light your windows well – This is just as important in the daytime as night time – you have got to shout through those window reflections!

PPE suppliers

Below is a list of PPE suppliers to consider using.

Face covering suppliers

Masks are also available from Boots and Marks & Spencer in Swan Walk Shopping Centre.

Further guidance and partners

Produced in partnership with local task forces and businesses, we have produced pack of resources and information to help retail businesses reopen safely to the public.

The guides were produced and distributed to businesses in June 2020. For the most up to date guidance, visit GOV.UK: Working safely during coronavirus

High Street Recovery Pack: Retail

High Street Recovery Pack: Restaurants

High Street Recovery Pack: Hairdressing salons

High Street Recovery Pack: Leisure and tourism

High Street Recovery Pack: Beauty salons and spas

Restaurants poster

Tell your customers when you are open, any guidelines you have in place, and whether you are offering takeaway

Download the Restaurants poster

Hairdressing and beauty salon poster

Tell your customers when you are open, any guidelines you have in place, and how to book appointments

Download the hairdressing poster

Tourism and leisure poster

Tell your visitors when you are open, any social distancing measures you have in place, and how visitors can book tickets.

Download the Tourism and leisure poster

Logos for Horsham BID, Small Business Saturday, FSB, Horsham Time Well Spent and Horsham District Council