With the gradual easing of lockdown measures, businesses are preparing to reopen their doors to the public in the near future. It’s important to business owners, staff and customers that this is done safely, making sure protection against viruses such as Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a key part of the plan. Here, we outline good hygiene practices to take when preparing to reopen your business and to ensure staff and customer safety is maintained.
How can I prepare my business to operate safely and hygienically?
Ensuring all measures are taken to protect your staff and customers is key to being ready to reopen.
Map out all frequently touched surfaces
Whether you’re a shop, cafe or pub, outlining the surfaces which are frequently touched by customers is a good place to start in terms of preparation. These surfaces should be deep cleaned before reopening.
Surfaces such as counters and tables should be cleaned with a product such as Domestos Thick Bleach to ensure all germs are killed. Using eight parts bleach to one part water and wiping down the surface with a clean cloth. Smaller surfaces such as card machines and door handles can be cleaned with an antibacterial spray or wipe like Cif Antibacterial Spray. Both Domestos Thick Bleach and Cif Antibacterial Spray are scientifically proven to kill COVID-19. For further information on how to use clean with bleach, follow our tips on using bleach safely.
Keep staff up-to-date with measures and how to implement them
Making sure all staff are aligned on what you expect in terms of hygiene practices will ensure all eventualities are covered. In order to maintain social distancing, the operation of staff may have to be changed. Make sure you are frequently and openly communicating with staff about the changes being made.
Place cleaning stations throughout for customers and staff to use
Show customers you are taking steps to maintain cleanliness by placing hand sanitisers, at entrances and exits, as well as around frequently touched surfaces. Cleaning the card machine between uses will ensure any germs are eliminated before the next use.
Limit the need for contact
Throughout all of this, social distancing measures will need to be adhered to. Limiting the number of people into the shop is a good place to start. Outlining two-metres using tape, chalk or whatever works for you will prevent any confusion for customers. Keeping doors open if possible will prevent the need for touching them. Use Perspex screens to shield staff from customers at payment points, as well as advising the use of card over cash.
How can I make sure my customers know it’s safe?
Being transparent with what your business is doing in order to maintain hygiene standards will help build trust with customers. Ensure you have clearly marked signs stating how many people are allowed in the building. It will also help to display messages throughout to explain the hygiene practices you are implementing. Make signs large and clear, using icons to help portray key messages. If your business has social media, use these platforms to outline your plan to customers before reopening so they know what to expect. Keeping this up-to-date and regulated is also important to avoid any confusion.
If you have questions on how and when you should reopen your business, the UK Government has provided more detailed guidance for specific business needs.