On 25th June the Government updated its Guidance on Working safely during coronavirus, including the section on shops and branches.

The introduction below and documents reflect these changes.

The UK government published its Covid-19 recovery plan on 11 May. This referred to a phased approach to re-opening non-essential retail beginning from 1st June.  Non-essential retail stores were permitted to re-open from 15th June and restaurants, pubs, hairdressers, outdoor gyms, and other venues will be able to join them from 4th July. 

Accompanying the original recovery plan was a suite of guidance for different business settings with specific guides for shops and branches, vehicles and factories, plants and warehouses. These have now been updated in the latest Guidance with shops.  

To a large extent, the updated guidance is consistent with the BRC guidance published below. 

The new FAQ focuses on the change in social distancing rules for England changing from 2m to 1m when the appropriate controls are in place

This builds on the previously updated guidance that imposes a requirement for all stores to undertake a covid-19 risk assessment.  Other developments are the Guidance proposes that:

  • fitting rooms should generally be closed except for essential workers trying on PPE; 
  • returned goods and goods tried on should be set aside separately for 48 hours
  • protective coverings for large items which should be changed after each use;
  • customers should be encouraged not to touch goods when browsing;
  • PPE should not be required where it is not usually;
  • face masks are not necessarily effective in most settings. 
  • We have updated our FAQs to reflect the government's advice on handling goods.  

The safety and wellbeing of every retailers’ staff and customers is a top priority. Retailers welcome continued government support and clarification to assist in managing their workforces.   

To assist our members and interested parties the BRC has worked with its members and external stakeholders to produce recommendations that will assist retailers to facilitate the introduction of social distancing.  These recommendations cover two areas:


Fundamental to the provision of online retail and those with stores still open are the colleagues working in warehouses, distribution areas , and logistics and supply chains.


To assist businesses in reopening, BRC has worked with USDAW to agree on practical recommendations for businesses to consider.  

The documents below outline measures to facilitate the implementation of Government advice on retail premises to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.  Over and above these specific measures there should be an open dialogue with colleagues to reassure them and discuss any concerns about the safety of their role.    

This guidance has been prepared by the BRC based on input from across the membership. It will be regularly updated, so if you have any proposed enhancements or further input, please email Elizabeth.Andoh-Kesson@brc.org.uk. 
Over the course of the last few weeks, we have arranged regular conference calls with our members to gather frequently asked questions so our FAQs document supplements the guidance above.