This page contains resources for retailers with regard to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
If you have any questions or concerns about what to do in your business, contact Willem van de Ven ([email protected])
Below is information for retailers on the current restrictions in England, Wales and Scotland.
On 21st February, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s Living with Covid-19 strategy.
The Government’s Living with COVID-19 strategy establishes a timetable for the expiration of all remaining coronavirus restrictions. The timetable, which can be accessed in full here, establishes some key points for retailers to note:
- From Thursday 24th February, workers do not need to inform their employers if they are advised to self-isolate.
- From 24th March, COVID-19 provisions in statutory sick pay will end. However, workers who have COVID-19 and are unable to come into work can claim normal sick pay.
- From 1st April, employers will no longer be required to conduct and implement a COVID-19 risk assessment.
The Government guidance, Working Safely During Covid-19, outlines six priority areas for shops to take action on:
- Complete a health and safety risk assessment for the store
- Provide adequate ventilation
- Clean surfaces more often
- Turn away customers or colleagues that display Covid-19 symptoms
- Enable people to check in using a Test and Trace QR code
- Communicate your procedures to colleagues and customers
The full guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/shops-branches-and-close-contact-services
Rules on Testing and Isolating
From 1st April, people with COVID symptoms will no longer be advised to test but instead isolate until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and do not have a high temperature.
The Government will no longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.
From 1st April, there will be ongoing limited free testing available for a small number of at-risk groups and free symptomatic testing will remain available to social care staff.
Selling Covid Tests
Universal free testing has expired in England as of 1st April. COVID tests are now only freely available to over-75s and vulnerable over-12s. Retailers can sell Covid tests but they must ensure they are on the approved list, which can be accessed here. The Department of Health and Social Care has also provided an information sheet for retailers which sets out guidance and rules.
There are a range of posters that you can use in store to encourage people to book their Covid-19 booster vaccine, the posters are available to download here: Emergency Booster Posters - Coronavirus Resource centre (phe.gov.uk)
To find your nearest walk-in vaccination site, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-v…
Clarity on sick pay for colleagues
The Covid-19 Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is closed on 24th March, meaning retailers will no longer be able to claim back costs for sick pay issued due to Covid-19 between 21st December and 17th March.
Normal sick pay rules will apply for Covid-19 and other absences. This also means sick pay will no longer paid from the first day of absence. To be eligible for sick pay, colleagues must have been off work for at least 4 days in a row, including any usual non-working days.
From 28th March, face coverings are no longer legally required to be worn in shops or on public transport in Wales. Face-coverings are still legally required in health and social care settings and it is ‘strongly advised’ that they are worn in crowded areas.
Businesses, organisations and workplaces are still legally required to carry out a coronavirus risk assessment and implement reasonable measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus on their premises.
The Welsh Government has confirmed retailers will no longer be required to undertake a specific Covid-19 risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise transmission risks from 18th April. Guidance will recommended face coverings are worn in indoor crowded settings.
The Welsh Government has extended the property moratorium banning the eviction of commercial tenants materially impacted by Covid-19 until March 2022. Landlords in Wales will also not be able to use Commercial Rents Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent on commercial leases under the same timeframe, or issue statutory demands or winding up petitions.
A UK Government Code of Practice is available to support discussions between landlords and tenants. Retailers in England cannot be evicted until 25th March 2022 or subject to other legal tactics above until 30th September.
From 28th March, it is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid in Wales. People who test positive and those with symptoms are still strongly advised to self-isolate, but it is no longer a legal requirement.
On 22nd February, a staged approach to easing protective measures and lifting legal restrictions was announced.
To protect yourself and others, the Scottish Government has made a number of recommendations, including:
- Getting the COVID vaccine and booster
- Take regular lateral flow tests (providing you have no symptoms), especially before mixing with others
- If you are displaying symptoms, you should isolate and book a PCR test
- Wash your hands regularly
- Open windows when meeting with other people indoors
- A mixture of home and office working is allowed
If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and book a test. Anyone with a positive Covid-19 result can end self-isolation on day seven provided that they return two negative lateral flow test results, one on day six and one 24 hours after, and have no fever. Close contacts of a positive covid-19 case will no longer need to self-isolate but will be required to complete daily lateral flow tests for seven days. If a positive result is returned, self-isolation will be required. This only applies to fully vaccinated individuals who have also received a booster dose. Both of these self-isolation changes will come into effect from 00:01 6th January.
For confirmed positive cases, the self-isolation period is 7 full days from when symptoms first started.
From 6th January if a positive result is returned on a lateral flow device, and you do not have symptoms, you will not be required to take a PCR test anymore to confirm the result. You will be required to immediately isolate.
Individuals without Covid-19 symptoms will also no longer be asked to take regular lateral flow tests but PCR tests can be booked until 30th April.
The Scottish Government has confirmed the legal requirement to wear face coverings in shops will be converted into guidance on 18th April. Face coverings will be recommended for indoor crowded spaces.