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Published: 26 May 2020

Guidance for customers

Your experience in shops is changing due to coronavirus. Retailers, following government guidance are working to ensure the safety of customers and colleagues. This good work is supported with relevant trade bodies and wider industry, but the successful return to business will be highly dependent on positive customer behaviours. The guidance below is intended to be used by customers and can also help to inform retailers’ signage.

Customers should:

  • reduce the frequency of your shopping trips, because you will put yourself at a greater risk than if you were to stay at home

  • refrain from going shopping if you have symptoms of illness or if you are in the shielding group. If you need items and you fall in to this category you should request assistance from friends, family, community support groups or make an online order. Many local authorities are also providing assistance.

  • use click and collect facilities, or online delivery where possible

  • if possible, avoid taking children to shops and shop on your own, although there may be occasions where it is necessary to shop with people due to caring responsibilities and disabilities, which can be un-seen

  • do not shop at times where shops are busy to avoid crowds

  • use a shopping list to ensure that you have enough food to last until your next shopping outing

  • maximise use of your freezer to store food to maximise shelf life

  • visit stores that are using infection control measures. The operational guidance for retailers will provide you with an understanding of the actions that stores should be taking

  • please ensure that you are considerate to retail staff and abide by their guidance and instructions. Please be courteous and understand that staff are working in challenging circumstances

  • consult the up to date advice on wearing face coverings which states that there may be some benefit in wearing a facial covering when you leave the house and enter enclosed spaces, especially where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people you do not usually meet. This would include many retail environments.

  • be prepared to show ID for age-restricted products and possible removal of face coverings if requested. Retail staff are facing increased pressure at this time regarding age-verification, with face-coverings recommended for use

  • consider the impact of public areas within communities and if shops or communal areas are busy, come back at a quieter time

  • abusive behaviour will not to be tolerated and at its worst it could constitute criminality

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