The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has published a practical guide for apparel retailers in preparation for retail shops being permitted to re-open with social distancing measures in place.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 are next due for review no later than Thursday 7 May, which will determine the businesses that are allowed to re-open following the lockdown period and those that must remain closed.

Written in conjunction with the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers, the BRC’s guidance outlines non-exhaustive recommendations that apparel retailers may wish to consider based on the experience of food retailers in how to implement effective social distancing measures.

It’s designed to be operationally practical, helping apparel retailers to plan and prepare for how they will re-open once the current restrictions are lifted.

The guidance sets out various recommendations covering outside store premises measures as well as in-store, including sections on cleaning and hygiene, general social distancing and specific advice on shop floor and till areas, changing rooms, customer seating and special assistance, as well as providing reminders on required workplace measures and health and safety requirements as outlined by the government.

It also emphasises that it remains the responsibility of each business to decide on the practical measures applicable to its particular circumstances, which should also be discussed with staff.

The trade organisation has also published guidance on warehousing and distribution facilities, offering similar practical suggestions.

The full guidance is available on the BRC’s Social distancing in retail stores and warehouses page.