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Non-Essential Shops Are Now Open in Wales – Are You COVID Secure?

Wales followed England’s lead of a week ago by allowing all non-essential shops to open. The UK Government expressly closed certain businesses, but are now staring to open them (full up to date table with exceptions here).

This unfortunately is far from the end of the story, as the 5 mile travel rule remains in place, and the tourism industry is waiting for the suggested date of 13th July for the opening of self-catering accommodation and the removal of the 5 mile rule, which if other hospitality can open by then may offer a summer of trade for our tourist destinations and a lot of well- deserved staycations for us all.

The anticipated relaxation of the 2m rule to a “1m plus” (1 metre with other mitigation – e.g. a face mask) could be a game changer for the hospitality sector, and may well save many jobs currently furloughed and also businesses struggling to see how they could start trading profitably in a 2m new normal. 1m is the social distancing standard in France, Denmark and China amongst others, so is not without precedent.

So the high street will now have widened pedestrian areas, yellow one-way arrows for shoppers, and for every shop a different set of codes of conduct within each shop – maximum number of shoppers, hygiene standards, one way systems, not touching produce unless buying, cashless purchasing. A new adventure in every shop.

Some shops may well not allow gloves in the shop. A common problem with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is poor use of equipment and a false sense of security. Gloves are great at ensuring a person doesn’t come into contact with the virus directly but are less great at picking the virus up and leaving it in lots of other places if worn for a prolonged period in multiple locations.

There is a common mis-conception regarding workplaces and the 2m rule – In a work environment, there are control measures that can be used to reduce the risk of people working less than 2m from each other, including working back to back. It is important that in planning the control measures in the work environment, it is done in full understanding of current UK guidance, which is both useful and pragmatic.

At EffectiveHRM we have a deep understanding of the UK guidance across all the sectors of the economy. We can help with your plans, review your plans, and use our knowledgeable and pragmatic advice to get your business back into operation with the minimal disruption and capital outlay.

If you would like to understand more, please tune into our Webinar “Managing HR and Health and Safety issues during Coronavirus” tomorrow (24th June). We’ve now added more tickets due to popular demand.  You can register via Eventbrite here.

Alternatively, you can contact Dafydd Lloyd on

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