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Guidance for non-essential retail businesses reopening

With many shops and businesses now able to reopen across Bridgend County Borough, residents can expect to see a range of temporary changes designed to help keep them safe and reduce potential exposure to coronavirus.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We are waiting Welsh governments specific guidance on when and how businesses should reopen in Wales.

While we await this, it may be useful to consider some of the typical issues and challenges that the UK Government is currently advising businesses in England about.

Read UK Government guidance on working safely during the pandemic. 

Read new Welsh Government retailers guidance.

Read coronavirus health and safety guidance.

Read new Welsh Government guidance for tourism and hospitality

Retailers will introduce a range of measures designed to keep their staff and customers safe. These will vary between shops but some of the changes you can expect to see include:

  • sneeze guards (plastic screens) around each till point
  • staff wearing PPE such as - visors, masks & gloves
  • shops asking customers to use different entrance and exit doors
  • one-way systems inside shops with arrows on the floor to direct customers
  • social distancing signage when entering a shop
  • removal of displays to create more space and help to maintain social distancing
  • provision of hand sanitiser and a request to use it when first entering a shop
  • restrictions on touching goods or trying on cloths or shoes
  • encouragement to pay contactless and not use cash.

The spending limit for contactless card payments was increased from £30 to £45 from 1 April 2020.

During the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent social restrictions that were introduced, many people developed a greater affinity for their community and felt a deeper sense of belonging to the place they call home. Local businesses are an integral part of our communities and now more than ever they need our support.

The Council is encouraging the use of two hashtags #ShopLocal, #ShopSafe to encourage people to shop locally now that Welsh Government has lifted restrictions on non-essential retail shops.

To promote a return to our town centres please consider posting a photo on your social media channel of your reopened shop and its staff using the hashtags #ShopLocal, #ShopSafe as a way to welcome people back to our town centres.

It will be up to individual shops to decide how they can facilitate customer requirements to try on goods such as shoes and clothes whilst balancing the need to take steps to prevent the virus spreading.

No. The evidence remains clear that the most effective way to protect yourself and others from infection is to follow social distancing rules, avoid touching surfaces and your face, and wash your hands regularly.

Face coverings are not a substitute for these measures, but in some circumstances where it might be difficult to stay 2m away from others, we are advising the use of three-layer, non-medical face coverings.

To provide any protection to others, face coverings need to be made, worn, handled and disposed of in a certain way. Unfortunately, many of the home-made masks being worn offer little protection to the wearer or those around them. The World Health Organisation recommends a minimum of three layers in a face covering.

Yes, since the restrictions were introduced, many local businesses have begun trading online, offering a home delivery and also a click and collect service.

Welsh Government have not set a date when hairdressers will reopen.

At present, all non-urgent dental appointments have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Welsh Government has announced a phased reopening of Dentists from 1 July 2020.

Optometrist practices in Wales are currently closed to all but emergency eye care needs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Your regular optometrist will be answering telephone calls and will direct you to the most appropriate place for emergency eye care if you need it.

A distance of two metres should be maintained between any persons.

From Monday 22nd June 2020 non-essential shops in Wales are permitted to open again, as long as physical social distancing can take place.

In practice, this means that retailers in our town centres will need to consider how people can queue outside their premises and still maintain a social distance.

Bridgend County Borough Council has set out some points to guide retailers in their social distancing measures.

  • Each retailer will need to manage the queuing requirements and system outside of their own shop.
  • Retailers are permitted to place 2m spacing markers along the frontage of their shop to aid social distancing. The markers and any queues should not impact on an adjoining property
  • The Council’s preference is for eye height markers to be placed along the frontage of the retail/business unit
  • Any markers retailers place on the highway should not cause a slipping or tripping hazard to the public, should be temporary in nature and consist of a suitably textured product.
  • Please note that any markers placed on the highway will remain the liability of the proprietor.

Although Welsh Government has permitted retail businesses to open, there remains a number of business that are still not permitted to open.

Find out more about the latest guidance published by Welsh Government.

Bridgend County Borough Council has set out some points to guide retailers in their social distancing measures.

  • Each retailer will need to manage the queuing requirements and system outside of their own shop.
  • Retailers are permitted to place 2m spacing markers along the frontage of their shop to aid social distancing. The markers and any queues should not impact on an adjoining property
  • The Council’s preference is for eye height markers to be placed along the frontage of the retail/business unit
  • Any markers retailers place on the highway should not cause a slipping or tripping hazard to the public, should be temporary in nature and consist of a suitably textured product.
  • Please note that any markers placed on the highway will remain the liability of the proprietor.

Although Welsh Government has permitted retail businesses to open, there remains a number of business that are still not permitted to open.

Find out more about the latest guidance published by Welsh Government.

Some businesses in Bridgend County Borough have undertaken a Covid 19 Awareness Course provided by Bridgend County Borough Council to best prepare their premises to receive customers and this is ongoing. You should also see a Training Certificate displayed inside the premises indicating who undertook the training.

For further details please contact employability@bridgend.gov.uk or call 01656 643428

Bridgend County Borough Council in partnership with Porthcawl Town Council are undertaking some works on John Street to introduce a level surface in places along the street to remove the cobbled surfaces.

The work was scheduled for March/April but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had to be delayed. The programme of works started on Monday and is scheduled for about a week. The contractor is working in sections with the minimum space required to undertake the repairs being utilised. They will be onsite only between 11am and 5pm when the road is closed to vehicular traffic as part of the pedestrianisation order.

Council’s Highways team, who monitor such work, will be visiting John Street today to liaise with the contractor and facilitate as much space as possible to enable social distancing, however some disruption is inevitable.

Although Welsh Government has permitted retail businesses to open, there remains a number of business that are still not permitted to open. Find out more information about businesses that are not allowed to reopen yet on Welsh Government's website.

The toilets in John Street are managed by Porthcawl Town Council. At present the facility is closed but the Town Council are actively exploring how the facility could be adapted and reopened in line with Welsh Government guidance in relation to Covid-19.

Bridgend County Borough Council will be introducing barriers and street markings at several locations to help ensure people can maintain social distancing.

The first area where the measures will be installed is Talbot Street in Maesteg where narrow sections of pavement will be expanded to provide more room for pedestrians, allow for social distancing and help to keep shoppers safe.

We will monitor the scheme carefully and, if successful, will look to introduce similar measures in areas such as Nolton Street, Bridgend, and Lias Road in Porthcawl. We may also introduce additional measures as further pandemic developments emerge or in line with whatever new national guidelines we may see in coming weeks and months.

Find out more about how we're helping to keep shoppers safe in Bridgend County Borough.

10 things to remember when visiting your town centre

  • shop alone where possible.
  • check if a shop has introduced different exit and entry points.
  • if there is a queue outside a shop remember to stand 2m apart from other customers.
  • if there is no queue before entering a shop check how many people are already inside.
  • be aware that a shop may have introduced a new floor layout with different signage and even a one-way system.
  • whilst shopping try and stay 2m apart from other customers, where this is not possible consider covering your face.
  • try only to touch things you are going to buy.
  • using a contactless payment method is preferable.
  • shopping will take more time, be patient and considerate to both staff and customers.
  • Bridgend County Borough Council have introduced Covid-19 coronavirus awareness training for retailers, along with sneeze guards to keep both staff and customers safe.

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