Scottish retailers urge customers to follow five rules when reopening stores today.
The relaxation of coronavirus containment means stores with exterior entrances will be able to reopen, while interior parts of shopping malls are expected to reopen on July 13.
The professional body of the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), as well as the Usdaw Store Workers Union and the Scottish Government, encourage people to follow five steps for “considerate shopping”.
Earlier Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon purchasing trips would be “a little different” from before the lockdown.
David Lonsdale, Director of the CBC, said, “It has never been more important to play our part in keeping our cities and our commercial destinations vibrant. Each visit we make contributes to supporting jobs in the retail sector and along the supply chain.
“Retailers are working tirelessly to create a safe shopping environment so that their customers can have the confidence to return to their favorite stores.
“Our shopping experience may be changing, but if we follow all the necessary social and hygienic measures and show consideration for those around us, then everyone will be better.”
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said, “Being able to reopen our non-core retail businesses with the necessary security measures in place is a positive step forward in easing the coronavirus lockdown in Scotland.”
Stewart Forrest, division manager at Usdaw, said, “Customers must be patient, observe social distancing and show respect for store employees, while ensuring that main streets and downtown areas remain vibrant and great shopping experience for everyone.”
Sturgeon spoke of his “huge” relief yesterday after no new deaths of people who tested positive for the coronavirus were reported for the third consecutive day. The total number of people who died under the measure is 2,482.
Eight other people have tested positive for the virus and 452 are in Scottish hospitals with confirmed or suspected cases. There were five people in intensive care with Covid-19 confirmed and eight with suspected cases.
The Prime Minister tweeted: “Three days in a row with no recorded deaths of Covid in Scotland. The sense of relief that I – and I’m sure all of us – feel when these numbers fall is enormous.
“But that comes with the anguish of doing everything we can to keep Covid under control. Please follow the rules and #StaySafe. “
Here are five rules buyers should follow when reopening stores:
Consider the queue
Buyers are invited to line up safely when the stores reopen.
For example, Primark asks customers to “stay on the left” in the pedestrian streets and only get in elevators with members of their household.
Many stores will have separate entrances and exits and a one-way system to manage queues.
Stores will have dedicated queue areas outside of stores and one-way systems to manage overcrowding.
Outside of stores, you will need to line up online – advice on this will be posted on store windows.
Maintain social distance
Stores will have to regulate the number of people admitted to maintain social distance.
Services that cannot be provided without breaking social distance will be suspended – this could include accommodation and measurement services.
When queuing and navigating, make sure you are aware of the two meter gap, one way signs and being attentive to those around you.
Stores like John Lewis say customers will have to stand eight meters apart on escalators.
At Primark, ’roundabouts’ – where the corridors meet – will be introduced to ensure that buyers do not cross and unnecessarily approach each other.
Follow the instructions inside and outside the stores
Signs will be placed in stores and on the floor to explain the rules.
Customers are also invited to pay via contactless when possible – for example via your phone or a contactless payment card.
When shopping, be aware that the changing rooms will be closed and that the testers will not be available.
If you return an item, it will be put on hold for 72 hours. While browsing, try to touch only the items you want to buy.
Primark will only reopen all other checkouts, which means there are additional staff working behind the counter and customers pay.
Follow hygiene measures
Although the Scottish government has stated that face masks are only required for transport, buyers are advised to wear them in confined spaces.
This means that if you enter a particularly small store, you need to cover your nose and mouth.
There will also be hand sanitizing stations at the front of each store, so customers can wash their hands upon arrival.
Many stores will install plexiglass screens in front of the cash desks.
Be respectful to staff
Many retailers have employed additional staff, security and cleaners to meet demand during the lockout.
Scots are urged to treat workers with respect during this unprecedented period.
All retailers will clearly designate positions from which their colleagues can provide advice or assistance to customers while maintaining social distance.
Primark is adding additional security personnel to its teams to help with a queuing system and to ensure that people follow the rules.
All stores will be cleaned more often during the day, with a special focus on “touch points” – including checkouts, escalators and elevators.
They will also do additional cleaning of staff areas.