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Shops are finally reopening – but the High Street is set to look very different to the one we all remember.
Social distancing rules will be in place to keep customers and staff safe and to stop the spread of the virus.
And other measures – such as plastic screens and cashless payments – will be among the most noticeable changes.
But behind the scenes, stores are implementing a raft of new measures to stop the spread of the virus.
One of the biggest changes shoppers won’t necessarily see first hand will be regarding clothes and shoes.
We all know trying stuff on is key part of buying and browsing for your next outfit or shoes.
Yet now – to reduce transmission through contact with objects – stores have been issued with strict guidance on what they must do with items which get tried on.
Fitting rooms are to be closed wherever possible but if something needs to be tried on then new protocols are in place – which involve a kind of ‘quarantine’ for items. This UK government advice applies in England only.
The guidance states that shoes or clothes which have been tried on should be “storied in a container or separate room for 72 hours…before displaying them on the shop floor.”
It goes on: “Fitting rooms should be closed wherever possible given the challenges in operating them safely.
“Where fitting rooms are essential, for example to support key workers buying critical protective clothing, they should be cleaned very frequently, typically between each use.”
The advice is part of a huge UK government document for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
It sets out guidance on how to work safely and gives practical considerations of how this can be applied in the workplace.
It adds: “Each business will need to translate this into the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the nature of their business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated.”
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