Businesses reveal what steps they are taking to combat spread of coronavirus as push goes on to #supportlocal

MORE local businesses have revealed the steps they have taken to keep customers safe after throwing open their doors after nearly three months of closure.

Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 4:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 7:16 pm

Non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen on Monday by the government as long as they follow guidelines preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Firms have been forced to undertake rigorous precautions as the country eases out of lockdown – and The News has thrown its support behind smaller firms which have emphasised how important it is that customers back them in these difficult times.

Bridal boutique, Creatiques in Albert Road, reopened on Tuesday. Co-owner Robert Pearce said: ‘We’re only allowing one person to come into the shop with the bride. Everyone is wearing masks, gloves and there will be a temperature check for those coming in.

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Hundreds of people took the chance to go shopping in Gunwharf. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘All dresses will be sanitised after they have put them on. We will leave one hour between appointments to wipe down surfaces.

‘There will be hand sanitiser available and we will provide masks and gloves to customers. It has cost us a fortune spending out on PPE, which has set us back £1,000. We’ve also spent £1,000 on a deep clean of the shop.

‘We can’t offer refreshments now and customers can’t use the toilet.’

Mark Burch, who owns pop-up ice cream van CaraVanilla in Havant, is now parking in pub car parks while they're empty.

Andrew and Rob Pearce from Creatiques Picture: Habibur Rahman (010219-)

He said: ‘I’ve put two metre markers down on the ground and there is a sneeze screen at the hatch of the caravan to act as protection between me and the customers.

‘For payment I’m using an old selfie stick which I have a contactless card reader on the end of.

‘I’m wearing a mask and gloves and will regularly clean throughout the day as well as carrying out cleans at the start and end of the day.’

Sarah Bailey, who owns florist Blossoms of Portsmouth, in Havant Road, Drayton, said: 'We have rearranged the shop to separate staff from customers, whilst still allowing room for our consultation desk, allowing families arranging funerals a little more time and privacy, whilst still being able to serve people at the other end of the shop.

Mike and Kate Burch's ice cream caravan Caravanilla, pictured pre-pandemic. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

‘We have a huge display of plants outside with a bell for service should customers rather not enter the shop, staff will go outside to help them.'

Mary Burgess Hypnotherapy in Selangor Avenue, Emsworth, has introduced new measures. ‘Social distance measures are in place and new hygiene guidelines to keep my clients safe,’ Mary said.

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