Are you ensuring that your store is promoting social distancing to help keep your staff and customers safe?

What is social distancing?

Under the Australian Government’s social distancing guidelines, people should remain at least 1.5 metres apart to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. To ensure that social distancing can be maintained, no more than one person should be permitted for every four square metres of floorspace.

For example, there can be 25 people in a 100 square metre room, who should maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres between each other.

Police officers are now enforcing this rule and issuing fines to those retailers and businesses who do not comply.

How can retailers promote social distancing?

Below is a checklist of 10 practical steps and measures that retailers can take to promote social distancing. Consider adopting any or all of the following measures to help keep your staff and customers safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Retail Drinks Australia has also produced Social Distancing Guidelines for Retail Liquor Stores, which outlines these practical steps and measures, as well as provides signage for use in-store, if required.

Signage and floor markings:

1. Erect posters and signage in-store reminding customers to maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres (the length of a trolley can be used as a guide).

2. Place distinctive markings on the floor near the register to ensure that customers queue 1.5 metres apart (duct tape or masking tape can be used for this).

Hygiene and cleaning:

3. Frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects (eg. tills, countertops, fridge door handles etc).

4. Clean cash registers and EFTPOS terminals with a soft cloth and alcohol-based cleaning solution. Avoid using water-based solutions to clean payment terminals as this may affect the functioning of circuit-boards.

5. Provide staff with disposable gloves to wear while handling items at the register. Ensure that these gloves are regularly replaced.

6. Place dispensers of hand sanitiser on counters for all staff and customers to use.

Payment methods:

7. Insist on customers using contactless payment methods such as ‘tap-and-go’ cards rather than cash.

Other practical measures:

8. Consider assigning an employee at the entrance of the store to monitor the number of customers entering at any one time noting that for every customer, there should always be at least four square metres of floor space. Consider erecting signs up saying ‘no more the X people in-store at a time’.

9. Space out your check-outs in-store to ensure a distance of at least 1.5 metres (if you have multiple check-outs).

10. If your business does home deliveries of alcohol, think about adopting contactless delivery methods for customers (Retail Drinks’ guide on how to do this can be accessed here).

This checklist was compiled by Retail Drinks Australia as a tool for retailers to remain compliant with social distancing measures.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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