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Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has urged all convenience retailers to follow advice on social distancing in the wake of new stringent measures announced by the government to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Britain awoke to a virtual lockdown on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered people to stay at home, shops to close and an end to all social gatherings.

The unprecedented peacetime restrictions, which will last for at least three weeks, were brought in to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed as the number of deaths in Britain rose to 335.

ACS advised retailers to implement additional measures in store to help customers ensure that they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“Convenience stores have been quick to respond and adapt throughout this period of uncertainty, with many already implementing several of the measures outlined in our advice. We encourage all convenience retailers to follow this advice to protect colleagues and customers,” commented James Lowman, ACS chief executive.

Measures suggested by the ACS include:

  • Putting lines on the floor in front of the till points
  • Asking customers to maintain distance whilst queueing
  • Encouraging the use contactless payment where possible
  • Restricting the number of customers allowed in the store at any one time during busy times
  • Temporarily closing off aisles that are being restocked
  • Closing stores for periods to focus on restocking
  • Placing bollards or markers around colleagues who are restocking to maintain a 2m distance if at all possible