hand sanitiser

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has urged collaboration between the Welsh Assembly Government and the retail industry following the introduction of new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 that came into effect with little notice.

From today, all retail stores in Wales are required to:

  • Introduce measures for controlling entry to the premises and limiting the number of customers who are on the premises at one time

  • Provide hand sanitisation products or hand washing facilities for use of customers when they enter the premises

  • Introduce measures to sanitise any baskets, trolleys or similar containers provided for use by customers on the premises

  • Remind customers to maintain distance of 2m between each other and wear a face covering. This should be done by displaying signs and other visual aids and making announcements on a regular basis

According to the ACS, these measures were first proposed by First Minister Mark Drakeford last week, but little detail was provided and no set timeline for the introduction of the new rules was put forward.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said that although many stores are already performing a lot of these measures, some require more notice than was given. “Local shops in Wales have already been implementing many of the new measures that have been set out in the amended regulations to keep customers and colleagues safe throughout the pandemic. However, the new specifics around controlling entry to the premises and sanitising trolleys require additional resources and staff time which for many of the smallest stores is not something that can just be implemented straight away.

“The lack of communication from the Welsh Government means retailers are now reading regulations and trying to devise stop gap solutions rather than focusing on helping customers and colleagues, and maintaining Covid-safe sites – something they have done superbly over the past year. We need better consultation and some notice period to allow stores to prepare.”

ACS has also made materials available for stores to help communicate the need to wear a face covering, sanitise hands before and after shopping, and maintain a social distance.