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The Capital Evening Show with Jimmy Hill 7pm - 10pm
12 June 2020, 11:26
Shops across the country can re-open from Monday 15 June, but the shopping experience is going to be a lot different from how we remember it.
Non-essential high street shops, shopping centres, and outlets have been given the go-ahead by the government to begin re-opening from 15 June and, while the nation is keen to see some aspect of normality return as we ease out of lockdown, browsing the shops won't be what it once was.
A number of measurements have been put in place to enable shops to safely re-open while limiting the spread of coronavirus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it is “vital” retail establishments “ensure they are meeting Covid-secure guidelines”.
Shops will only be able to open after a Covid-19 risk assessment, ensuring they have the store layout to limit the amount of customers handling merchandise, and frequently cleaning where necessary.
What are the new coronavirus guidelines for shops, and how will shopping be different? Read our shopping guide below…
A lot of shops, such as Lush, are introducing virtual shopping functions on their apps, meaning customers can scan items in store to find out a bit more on the products they’re browsing without picking them up.
Virtual queuing is also available at a lot of shops, as all stores will have to have a limit on the amount of customers coming in.
Bicester Village in Oxford is one shopping precinct where virtual queuing is an option.
Ensuring customers are social distancing will also be a priority, with shopping centres using arrows to keep shoppers away from one another and reducing the amount of open car park spaces to provide space around each car arriving.
You’ll also notice hand sanitation stations throughout the stores, urging you to use the anti-bac upon arrival and regularly through your shopping.
A lot of stores will now have reduced opening hours to reduce the amount of people visiting each day, and to ensure intense cleaning can be fulfilled regularly.
Shopping alone is also encouraged and cashless purchases will be the only option in the majority of stores.
John Lewis has said any returned stock will be separated from other items for 72 hours, which is likely what most stores will also adhere to.
The government have advised fitting rooms remain closed a little longer if possible, but some places may quarantine any items tried on and not bought.
Some may also steam-clean clothes.
Similar practices are in place in department stores in Canada, France, and Italy, where sanitising fitting rooms between customers is also a regular occurrence.
Staff at tills will be behind perspex screens and they will all likely be wearing masks.
Cleaning staff will be equipped with extra protective equipment for specific cleaning purposes.