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Welsh Government publishes retail guidelines to minimise omicron spread

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

28 Dec 2021


Image: Pexels

The Welsh government has published a Retail Action Card which outlines the measures consumers and businesses should take to minimise the risk of contracting the coronavirus while shopping.

With the onus on business owners, reasonable measures should be taken to curtail any risk for employees and customers being exposed to coronavirus, and spreading the virus, at their premises.

This includes enforcing social distancing and the return of one-way flow systems. 2m social distancing is expected to be observed on the premises (including while waiting indoors to enter the premises) and groups limited to six persons from different households.

“Enforcement action will be taken against those retailers who are found to be in breach of their responsibilities. Businesses should be expected to justify to enforcement officers their recently updated risk assessments including the additional reasonable measures they have introduced,” the Welsh Government explained in its coronavirus update.

“The requirement to control entry can be fulfilled in different ways depending on the nature of the retail premises and on any equipment available. In larger premises it is likely to mean either having a person on the door to control entry or some automatic means of limiting the number of people who enter.” Outlining the risks, the brief says these will vary significantly depending on the retail premises, but it warns business owners to appreciate that the pandemic remains far from over and that they continue to have legal duties for the purpose of minimising risks arising from coronavirus.

Although variation will exist within premises the following risks will be typical: • crowds gathering indoors at areas such as tills and collection point and forming queues outdoors waiting to enter.

• overcrowding in small spaces and poorly ventilated part of the premises, in particular in smaller premises, in narrow aisles, in customer changing rooms, staff locker rooms and stock rooms with no access to natural ventilation.

• staff and the public, particularly the more vulnerable, feeling unsafe when shopping because of non-compliance with the legal requirement to wear a face covering, by staff, visitors and customers.

The template for retailers and visitors can be found here.