The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has provided guidelines for the reopening of stores amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

BRC has worked with its members and external stakeholders, including trade union USDAW, to produce the recommendations.

A decision is currently yet to be reached on when the non-food retail sector will reopen for business.

This guidance will prepare and assist retailers to facilitate the introduction of 2m social distancing at their stores.

The recommendations for implementing outside the store include restraining entry and exit points, using floor markings to outline social distancing and schedule deliveries to avoid crowding in delivery areas and more.

Inside the store, the guidelines include the installation of cleaning stations with hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes at the front of stores, keeping changing rooms closed, limit customer seating, stopping of services that need direct interaction and more.

Retailers can decide on whether keeping customer toilets open or available on request is safe. If open, regular cleaning must be ensured on all possible touchpoints.

Secure closures should be done for cafes and restaurants, which will remain shut until further notice. This will ensure customers do not use the seating area.

In addition, customer and colleagues’ understanding and compliance must be checked regularly including in-store and out-of-store security measures and requirements, noted BRC.

British Retail Consortium CEO Helen Dickinson said: “Since the lockdown, many retailers have proved how shops can be run safely and effectively in line with the government’s social distancing advice.

“Continued close collaboration with the government, including public support for the steps retailers are taking and adequate notice to get supply chains up and running, will mean that retail businesses can start trading again slowly and safely, and customers can feel confident that they are safe to return to shops.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed that the UK’s retail sales volume for March dropped by 5.1%.