We are pleased to announce that we have re-opened and looking forward to catching up with all our friends albeit in somewhat different circumstances.
In line with government guidelines, we would like to advise you of the safety precautions that will be in place to safeguard both our customers & the Abraham’s team. It may be necessary to amend these precautions in line with any future government advice this page will be updated accordingly.
From Thursday 18 June we will be welcoming customers wishing to purchase clothing in three ways:
By an appointment system each day from 10.30am until 1.30pm
- Each appointment will last for up to 50 minutes and will begin on the half hour (eg from 10.30am, 11.30am… etc).
- They can be booked by telephone 07966 373993 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The ten minutes between appointments enables us to quarantine any clothing that has been tried on and allows us to refresh the shop.
- In the absence of any appointments the shop will be open as per the “without an appointment” below.
Without an appointment from 2pm until closing
- For customers without an appointment, we will be open from 2pm until our normal closing time for that day.
- To allow us to apply social distancing rules, we will be limiting the number of customers allowed in to the store at any one time. Exactly how many will be determined by the requirements of government policy & our interpretation of those at the time.
By an appointment after 5pm
- We can also arrange appointments from 5pm for customers who are unable to visit during our usual opening hours.
- They can be booked by telephone 07966 373993 or by email email@example.com
In order to meet government expectations regarding the transmission of Covid-19 we have introduced a number of changes to the way Abrahams Store operates. A solution that is 100% effective can only exist if the shop remains closed which is economically unviable. In order to open and hopefully survive, we must take a pragmatic view of what is effective, possible and affordable. Our objectives must be to ensure that;
- Our customers have confidence in the level of hygiene we achieve such that they will feel safe in the shop.
- Our staff have sufficient protection for them to undertake their duties without putting themselves at avoidable risk.
It is imperative that staff are familiar with this policy and highlight any areas where it does not work correctly as soon as possible so that alternative arrangements can be put in place.
Provision and use of safety equipment
- An automated hand sanitiser dispenser has been installed to the left of the door. This must be used by all staff and customers on entry.
- Manual hand sanitiser dispensers will be available in other locations such as the counter, toilet and the changing room.
- Staff should sanitise their hands frequently.
Disinfectant cleanser will be provided along with cloths with which to clean items. Disinfectant can be used on all non-porous surfaces including handles, glass and products.
- It is essential that the door handles, Card Payments Machine and counter top are cleaned after every customer. This is part of the customer departure process. Cloths can be re-used on a daily basis as they will be safe due to the disinfectant in use.
A customer may wear their own facemask if they wish. It is not our policy to insist on facemask as;
- Masks do not apparently reduce the likelihood of catching the virus but apparently do reduce the transmission rate. HMG has only made wearing of masks compulsory where achieving a 2m gap is difficult / impossible i.e. public transport. We believe that attaining and sustaining a consistent 2m gap between staff and customers is possible with the provisions we have put in place. Current HMG advice (5/6/20) is ”If you can, wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops. From 15 June, you must wear a face covering on public transport.“
- People who are ill should not be shopping anyway and indeed are unlikely to be shopping due to the extreme symptoms caused by the illness. Evidence suggests that transfer rates are low for infected but asymptomatic people.
- Masks worn for more than 15 minutes become a breeding ground for bacteria – there are more killer viruses and bacteria.
- Staff will be issued with facemasks which they should wear if a customer requests it.
- Staff will not be encouraged to wear a face mask but may choose to do so, if they wish.
Face masks will be available for customers to use if they so wish. If a customer wishes to wear a facemask they must either use their own or choose to buy one from us.
- Customers will not be asked to wear sanitary gloves, indeed the wearing of gloves is not encouraged on the basis that this increases the likelihood of contact with products.
- Staff will not be issued with gloves.
- Customers choosing to wear gloves will have to sanitise those gloves on entry.
It will be difficult to remember to maintain a 2m distance between staff and customers but it is not impossible. This will be most difficult when admitting/releasing a customer from the shop and when interactions take place around the till. Staff must remember to step back. Signage will be provided to remind staff/customers to keep their distance.
Disposable tissues will be provided for Staff so that they are available at all times to them in case of sneeze/cough. Remember Catch it – Bin it – Kill it
Towels in toilet
Staff will need to bring in and take home their own towel (one can be provided if not possible, please let me know). The use of paper tissues is recommended but those require storage both used and unused and removal when used. The use of personal hand towels is a practical solution to this provided that staff remember to use their towel and to take it home for washing.
A quarantine rail has been established at the foot of the stairs and is marked as such.
As part of the shop opening routine ;
- staff should sanitise their hands, take a post it note and put the safe date (i.e. that day plus 3 days, so on the 19th of the month a safe date of the 22nd is correct) on that and sticky tape it to one of the black dividers provided so that it is securely attached.
- Staff should also remove from quarantine the items now considered safe as per the safe date on the label.
When an item on a hanger is quarantined, it must be hung on this rail behind a marker with the safe date written upon it. This will mean that the most at risk items are always added to the back of the rail. The rail is on wheels and can be rolled forward/backwards to facilitate access obviating the need to touch any other items. Staff should sanitise before and after adding to or removing from the rail or moving the rail itself.
One way in which the spread of the virus can be prevented is to ensure there is airflow.
The front door and back doors should be kept open if possible to promote airflow. Two cabin hooks and have been fitted to the back door to keep that door partially open or fully open.
The ceiling fan can also be used to promote airflow.
Rope boundary marker at the door
A rope boundary marker will be used across the gate when a customer or group of customers are in the shop (and at other times) to prevent others from entering. (this can be on the inside door handle for overnight storage purposes.
Admission of Customers
- Staff will ‘unlock’ the safety rope to allow customers into the shop.
- Staff will advise customers of the ‘rules’ upon entry, standing 2 meters back from them.
- Staff will ensure that customers use the automatic sanitiser upon entry.
- Numbers of customers at any one time must be limited to one group per member of staff. This can mean an individual or a larger number who are associated with each other. g. a family group or two people shopping together. A rope boundary marker will be used across the gate whenever the number of customer groups in the shop equals the number of staff available to look after them.
- Customers will only be admitted at the discretion of staff. Staff decisions are final both on admission criteria and the number of people admissible at any one time.
Circulation of customers
It is recommended that a one-way system should be in operation to facilitate social distancing and avoid contact between customers. It is not considered feasible in our case and so we have decided to admit one or two customer groups at a time. Staff will assist customers with navigation to ensure social distancing can be maintained.
All customers must be observed wherever possible (including on the CCTV Monitor) to ensure that the ‘don’t touch’ policy is observed. Therefore customers in a group must also move around the shop in a group in order to ensure that they are visible to staff at all times.
If a customer or member of staff sneeze or cough at any point, they must re-sanitise immediately. (Staff take note of requirements regarding tissues above)
Customers must not touch products. Staff will advise customer of this on entry and ‘do not touch’ signate is displayed around the store. Staff will demonstrate products to customers. If a customer does handle any product, that product must be quarantined or cleansed thoroughly if not purchased.
- If a customer does handle a product with a non-porous surface, the customer should be asked to place the item on the counter (away from the till) where it can be cleaned with a disinfectant wipe after the customer has left the shop.
- If a customer touches a garment, that garment must be moved either directly to the quarantine rail or to a changing room as if the garment had been tried on and then transferred to the quarantine rail as part of the customer departure process.
Staff, who will have recently sanitised, will demonstrate the product to customers. In the case of garments, handling by the hook of the coat-hanger is ideal as this minimises the risk of contact with porous surfaces.
We have removed the stools from the changing rooms and the armchair to minimise the risk of infection transfer.
Customers may not sit on these items. We are also unable to offer customers any refreshments (other than in the case of medical emergency).
Trying on items
Items that are tried on and not purchased should be left in the changing room until it can be transferred to the quarantine rail.
Clothes that are touched and not purchased must be quarantined on the quarantine rail in the cellar. Any such garments should be moved after the customer has left the shop and prior to the changing room hooks being cleaned.
When a customer wishes to try on an item in the changingroom they will need to use the remote control for the curtain. They need to be told not to touch the curtain but use the up/down knob instead.
Once the customer has left the shop and any items that were tried on and not purchased have been moved into quarantine the curtain knob should be cleaned thoroughly with disinfectant cleanser.
Purchasing of items
We will continue to accept payment by card, cash or cheque.
After any cash or cheque handling, staff should sanitise their hands. (This includes putting cash in the safe after close of business)
Customers should be encouraged to use contactless payment where possible (limit is now £45).
Whenever a customer makes a purchase with a card above that threshold, they will have to use the keypad. The card payments machine must be cleaned with disinfectant sanitiser after thoroughly as soon as possible after use.
Departure of customers
When a customer is ready to leave the shop the staff member will (if not already) open the door for them and remove the rope barrier, before stepping back behind and away from the door to allow the customer to leave the shop at a safe distance.
Once a customer has left the shop staff will;
- Clean any door handles that have been touched either by staff or customer.
- Wipe down any non-porous surface items handled by the customer (of which there should be none) and replace them in the appropriate display taking care not to touch any other items on display
- Clean the countertop with disinfectant cleanser
- Clean the card payment machine with disinfectant cleanser
- Remove any tried-on items or inadvertently touched items from the changing room and place those on the quarantine rail downstairs, taking care to sanitise before touching the rail.
Shop opening process
- Open gates as usual.
- Open door as usual.
- Turn off alarm.
- Shut and lock front door.
- Check fluid level sanitiser (this also needs to be done prior to opening to general customers at 14:00)
- Open back door secure with cabin bolt.
- Remove quarantine items that are now safe according to the date on the label.
- Put ‘their’ towel in the toilet
- Turn on overhead fan
- Undertake standard opening activities (Epos, cash, bag levels, lighting etc)
- Clean metal parts of access control rope with disinfectant sanitiser
- Unlock front door (do not leave your keys in the door).
- Clean exterior front door handle with disinfectant sanitiser
- Put hand access control rope in place.
Shop closure process
- Remove the access control rope and hang on interior door handle.
- Shut and lock the shop door.
- Take out shop waste to the bin. As with any activity involving the use of the SLDC bin hands should be washed after touching the bin.
- Clean with sanitary cleaner internal and external back door handles.
- Un-hook and close the back door.
- Clean all other internal door handles (i.e. front door, stairs up and down, toilet).
- Shut down EPOS.
- Clean counter top, card payment machine and front of safe (handle and keypad), fan control switch, light switches, EPOS screen and keyboard.
- Sanitise hands
- Switch off automatic sanitiser.
- Undertake usual shop closure routine, set alarm, leave and lock up as normal.
Generally, as we are working with a very few unrelated members of staff, the risk to individuals is only marginally higher than in domestic circumstances. Where staff are working together and not part of a domestic ‘bubble’, social distancing will have to be maintained. The disadvantage is that if one of those in the ‘bubble’ becomes infected then temporary shop closure becomes a high probability.
Hand washing with a detergent is the recommended most effective way of dealing with Coronavirus. The detergent breaks down the fat layer which protects the virus. Staff should wash their hand more often than usual for at least 20 seconds taking care to wash all parts of the hand.
Washing of mugs should also be with detergent for the same reason as above. Surfaces like that of the kitchen area downstairs, should be cleaned with disinfectant sanitiser.
It is possible that during the Test and Trace process we may face the situation where a member of the public has been into the shop and then been diagnosed as positive. In such circumstanced affected members of staff may have to go into self-isolation. You need to be aware that the three main symptoms of Covid-19 are now established as;
- High temperature
- New continuous cough
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
If you develop these symptoms let us know immediately. If the first two can develop quickly so it may happen whilst you are at work; it will be necessary for you to close the shop and go home. We will need to contact the Public Health Authority to discuss the matter and we may well need to close again for quarantine.
It is quite possible that you may develop mental health issues as a result of the anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Please feel free to discuss with me any concerns that you may have relating to work anxiety.
We can also provide sources of information from the Government relating to Covid-19.