Retail Reopening - Best Practice Guidelines May 2020

Reopening for Business

7 MAY 2020

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The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the $325 billion-dollar sector employing more than 1.3 million people.

As the peak body for Australia's retail sector , the ARA represents more than 7,500 retailers across the country. Our members range from Australia’s biggest national retailers to smaller independent outlets. We represent local and international retailers collectively operating more than 60,000 retail outlets across Australia.

For over 100 years, the ARA has performed a crucial role informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for members.

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INTRODUCTION

The welcome reopening of physical retail stores following the COVID-19 lockdown period will set us on a journey of recovery for our sector and the economy overall. Our teams are courageously contending with many challenges as a result of the pandemic. This document outlines some best practice guidelines and checklists to help you and your staff to prepare for this important reopening and recovery period.

Equally, there are some powerful legacies we can create as a positive part of our new normal offering to customers.

Being omnichannel has never been more important. Online and mobile shopping are now a standard part of daily business, as our customers expect a range of choices as to how they engage with us. We know that nearly half of Australians have decreased their use of cash when making purchases in person because of coronavirus fears around cash handling, with most Australians agreeing contactless payments are a cleaner way to pay. A quarter are now using their mobile phone to pay. Many are using some form of self-checkout frequently. Alongside growth in home delivery, innovations such as click and collect are helping to ease in-store congestion, save time and offer great customer convenience. In time, we expect more smart stores will emerge here as they have around the world, offering improved efficiency and safety within the stores. Retailers are used to adapting to customer expectations. However, the pace of change during COVID-19 has been unprecedented. The growth of digital and smart store operations will ultimately help many retailers gain fresh customer insights, and eventually provide customers an even more personalised experience. We expect this recovery period will be slow. There will be growth opportunities, and in some cases some pain still to come. However, we are confident our retail sector will emerge even more vibrant than ever before, with a focus on the very best customer offerings and locations to maximise the opportunities.

We look forward to working with you to make this a positive period for staff and customers and that’s what these guidelines are all about.

Paul Zahra, CEO Australian Retailers Association

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Reopening Checklist

Welcoming Customers Back

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Operations - Preparing the Store

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Health and Safety Cosiderations

Restaurant and Catering: Best Practice Guidelines

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Hairdressing, Barbering, and Beauty: Best P ractice G uidelines

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Employer Obligations / Employer Relations

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FAQs

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Looking Towards the Future

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COVID-19 Retail Recovery Protocol

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REOPENING CHECKLIST

We have created a number of checklists for you and your teams to run through as you prepare your stores for the reopening and retail recovery period.

Click under each area to see or download the checklist. You will also find the relevant checklists at the end of each chapter of this publication.

LOGISTICS / OPERATIONS Checklist

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS Checklist

HEALTH POLICY Checklist

4 WELCOMING

CUSTOMERS BACK

The in-store vibe will be everything when customers return to their usual shopping habits. It’s been a difficult time for many, and it's important that staff recognise their customers may be cautious and sensitive at this time. Likewise, staff teams have many fresh challenges to navigate with in - store distancing and hygiene practices along with increased customer demands and in some cases aggression, reduced staffing levels and product availability.

We truly are all in this together. If we keep that in perspective, the retail reopening period can be a positive experience for everyone.

For some customers, coming out of lockdown is a celebration - and shopping is one of the ultimate outings - it's called retail therapy for a reason!

There is likely to be a retail bounce as consumers release their pent-up demand and make some of the purchases they have deferred or considered during lockdown.

For other customers - particularly those who ar e older or may have health concer ns - shopping will be a matter of necessity rather than desire and they will aim to exit the store experience quickly and efficiently.

Of course, there will be an adjustment period for everyone and we expect a slow but steady recovery as the economy returns to life.

Appealing to the senses Written by Gary McCartney, McCartney Design

Our senses contribute to our emotions. Whilst touching and tasting can be more challenging in a post-COVID -19 environment, we can heighten the visual, sound and smell elements creating a compelling and memorable customer experience.

Hearing - Music has long been known to be an essential in stores- if it’s right, you tend not to notice it, but it enhances your emotional state. Or you might love it and Shazam it. If it’s wrong, you notice it, and it jars to the point where it’s uncomfortable. If it’s not there at all, it’s as if the store was closed.

Seeing - This is the most obvious sense associated with retail. In a cluttered retail landscape, cut-through is key to grabbing the customers’ attention - offering a “decompression zone” between the busy, noisy streetscape and the wonders inside- and is a great Instagram moment.

5 OPERATIONS -

PREPARING THE STORE

Outside the store Are you open? Your customers need to know. Keep them informed of revised opening hours and changes to operations. Register your business on stillopenforbusiness.com.au so your customers know if you are still open during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if you are a smaller or medium enterprise. And if you are open, make sure that people know your store policies before they enter your doors: Tell them how many people are permitted in store at once (4sqm rule) Ask customers not to enter the store if they are showing any symptoms of coronavirus Remind them to be respectful towards staff and fellow customers - abusive behaviour should not be tolerated.

Customer

The ARA website and your state department of health have downloadable posters that can be printed and displayed in your workplaces to reinforce government messages on hygiene and social distancing, and store-specific information. • Ensure customers can easily find hand sanitiser • Encourage customers not to touch items they won’t be purchasing • If you have queues at Visual Merchandising Help facilitate distancing by making high traffic areas wider, or change the flow of customers to make aisles one-way where it is practicable to do so. If you have been closed, take the opportunity to give your store a makeover - rearrange your displays, change the arrangement, freshen up the look of your store and promote it to attract customers when you are ready for them to return. checkouts, consider floor markings to maintain 1.5m between customers .

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LOGISTICS / OPERATIONS Checklist

Facilities: Deciding Which to Open Economic Analysis: Pre-crisis performance vs. re-opening projections; also, cost of lease termination should a given location no longer prove viable post COVID -19 . Co-Tenancy Considerations: Have COVID - 19 closures implicated one or more co- tenancy provisions in your portfolio? If so, have you taken any necessary steps to claim the relief provided under your lease(s)?

Evaluate the Landlord/Tenant Relationship: Is this a multi-site Landlord with loan agreement? Is this a location where we did not pay (or short-paid)? If so, has a strategy been devised to restore that relationship?

Retrofit: Do the costs of post-COVID retrofits (to meet health and safety requirements - including social distancing) render a site no longer financially viable?

Facilities: Preparing the Store for Opening For leased properties, work with your landlord and your local jurisdiction to obtain early access to store location to ready it for return-to-work (deep cleaning, retrofitting as necessary for new regulations, installation of new signage [see below], etc.). Thoroughly inspect facilities for any damage or issues caused by vacancy including mechanical, air, and water systems.

Clean and prepare equipment for startup; install sneeze guards or other protective measures, as necessary and/or required.

Consider facility enhancements such as increased fresh air circulation, installing highest efficiency rated filter recommended or allowed by manufacturer.

Identify which vendors and/or distribution centres are functioning, and the extent to which they may be delayed or limited in their operations. Establish contingency plan for vendor disruptions. Establish protocol for monitoring store occupancy in compliance with any applicable laws.

If applicable, establish procedure for use of escalators and elevators to avoid crowding.

In multi-tenant situations, obtain clarity on what customer screening be required and who will perform it.

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Signage

Familiarise yourself with new signage requirements & needs.

Consider the public relations and health & safety (e.g., capacity) concerns related to any promotional signage you might otherwise normally employ.

Do you need to limit quantities of certain items or implement other anti-hoarding signage?

Supply Chain and Inventory

Assess supply needs and explore options for sourcing additional supplies required for business operations; assess how to best leverage existing relationships with vendors.

Establish procedure for regularly disinfecting inventory and newly received deliveries.

Establish protocols for handling and processing shipping and receipts.

Evaluate current situation as it relates to ports of entry and trucking logistics for your product. Will this impact your ability to timely re-supply, both now and in the medium term? Keep an eye out for future legislation which might have the effect of requiring truck drivers to quarantine upon crossing state-lines, etc., thereby further disrupting the supply chain. Adjust store hours of operation, as necessary, to support social distancing efforts by limiting store traffic. Business Hours

Ensure staff have sufficient time to rest, sanitise and restock inventory.

Consider offering seniors and other high-risk individuals exclusive early hours.

Consider increasing pickup hours to serve more online customers.

Notify vendors of reopening, and any revised protocol as it relates to store entry, deliveries, paperwork, etc. Establish Protocol for Vendors & Non-Employees

Consider implementing measures to ensure vendor safety .

Revise security protocol to conform to state health directives. Security Operations

How might your anti-shoplifting procedures change in the COVID-19 era?

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Consider employee training in safe de-escalation - both in the case of shoplifting as well as customer violation of health and safety rules.

Promote “Contactless” Shopping Options On-line shopping.

Contactless payment options (e.g., credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, etc.).

Self-checkout.

Pickup and delivery services.

Merchandise Returns and Exchange Consider suspending or modifying return and exchange policies . Establish procedures for processing, handling, and disinfecting returns and exchanges.

Fitting Rooms

Decide whether to re-open fitting rooms. If you decide to open them, ensure fitting rooms are “customer ready” by cleaning prior to any customer usage. Encourage customers to use hand sanitiser/wipes before trying on items and to keep protective mask on during fitting. Determine procedure for disinfecting fitting room items.

Prohibit customer use; consider entirely removing from sales floor. Fragrance & Beauty Testers

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HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Retailers have made an enormous effort to protect staff and shoppers, working tirelessly to create a safe and healthy in environment through the lockdown period. As stores re-open, these protocols need to become part of our ongoing service.

The checklists below outline best-practice considerations and obligations that retailers need to attend to in ensuring a COVID 19 -safe - environment.

DISTANCING AND HYGIENE

The amount of time the COVID-19 virus survives on inanimate objects and surfaces varies. Environmental cleaning is one way to remove the virus that causes COVID-19.

Employers should ensure: - they provide surface wipes to clean and disinfect counters, and equipment such as tills, phones, and eftpos facilities - frequently touched surfaces such as doors, handrails, and products are cleaned and disinfected frequently using appropriate detergent and disinfectant solutions - trolleys and hand baskets are wiped clean with surface wipes after each use - customers are requested to only touch items they are interested in purchasing - hand sanitiser dispensers are available in prominent locations and are regularly refilled Employers should ensure employees wear gloves and use alcohol-based hand sanitisers before and after serving customers, for cleaning/disinfecting surfaces, and after waste disposal. Employees should also provide closed bins for hygienic disposal of waste, and consider reducing touch points for workers, such as leaving access doors open where possible.

To maintain social distancing instore, use the 1 person per 4 square metres rule to determine how many people you can allow in your store at any time - remember to count your staff too.

Employees should be vigilant and practice good hygiene, including: - covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue - immediately disposing of tissues properly washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet- - reporting and staying home if experiencing any symptoms.

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HEALTH POLICY Checklist

Place signage in conspicuous locations throughout the store, particularly high-traffic areas such as entrances and exits, checkouts, fitting rooms, etc. Social Distancing

Consider programming in-store audio messaging to frequently remind employees and customers to follow guidance on hygiene and physical distancing.

For high-traffic retailers and retailers with checkout counters that do not allow adequate distance between the customer and employee, consider installing plexiglass “sneeze-guards.” Capacity limits have been considered; if implemented, distance markers are located outside of store to allow for queuing while maintaining physical distance; employees can also be assigned to assist customers with waiting to enter.

To the extent possible, spread out employees across point-of-sale terminals and workstations .

Implement and encourage use of contactless payment options for employees and customers contactless signatures for deliveries. If contactless signature for deliveries is not possible, require employees to use own pen.

Where possible, employee shifts and meal breaks should be spaced out to avoid crowding.

High-traffic areas have been widened to the extent store configuration allows.

Where appropriate encourage or require employees and customers to wear approved facial coverings, gloves, and personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, if possible. Face Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Determine whether employees will be permitted to use their own face masks and PPE, and on what terms and conditions, with special attention to potential use of filtering face-piece respirators.

Designate receptacles for discarded face masks PPE.

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Cleaning / Saniti s ation Cleaning “kits” including disinfectant wipes or sprays, disposable gloves, paper towels, masks, hand sanitiser and other cleaning supplies are readily accessible throughout store, including point-of-sale terminals and other stations that will be cleaned periodically throughout the day.

Implement a cleaning regime targets frequently touched surfaces and spaces, which are most likely to result in the transmission of communicable diseases:

General: o Shopping carts and baskets. o Door and drawer handles. o Light and other power switches (consider signage to keep lights on at all times, or utilising exiting motion sensor capabilities). o Shared tools such as pricing guns, pallet jacks, tape guns, box cutters, etc. o Chairs, tables, and benches. o Vending machines and self-serve kiosks. o Refrigerators, microwave, and other frequently touched objects and surfaces in employee breakroom. o Time clocks .

Point of sale/checkout: o Cash register, including touch screens, keyboards, mouse.

o PIN Pads (touch screen, keypad, and pen). o Checkout counter and/or conveyor belt. o Cabinet pulls. o Checkout dividers.

Restrooms (consider temporarily closing restrooms to public, if possible): o Door handles and flush levers. o Toilet bowl and toilet paper holder. o Sinks and taps. o Paper towel holders and/or air dryers. o Nappy-changing stations. Sales floor: o Fixtures with handles or pulls. o Any other identified “high-touch” surfaces. o Hand sanitiser is available throughout store for customers and employee use, including store entrance(s), and checkouts.

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RESTAURANT AND CATERING: BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINE S

Retailers offering restaurants and café dine-in options will need to reconsider business operations which incorporate food or beverage services. When State Government allows retailers to reopen these services, the following guidelines can be used to ensure best practices for the safety of customers and employees.

BOOKINGS AND CONDITIONS OF ENTRY

Bookings / Tracking: •Using the federal government’s COVID-Safe Tracking App. •Ensure pre-bookings or sign-ins to dine in (where practicable) include a name, address/email address, and contact number. •Walk-in patrons should sign into or scan into the booking app/program or reservation book of therestaurant as a condition of entry. Refusing Entry to Patrons: •Place signs at entry points to request customers do not enter the shop if they are unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms. •You have the right to refuse service or ask a patron to leave the premises if they appear to have symptoms of the virus. Waiting Areas: • Remove waiting area seating and clearly outline floor social distancing requirements.

DINING IN, TAKEAWAY AND CUSTOMER SERVICE

Table / Seat Distance: •Implement social distancing between table edges/centres to adjacent tables (minimum 1.5m between patrons seated at different tables). Outdoor services need to adhere to the same table distance requirements. •Tables, chairs, stools, and booth seating must be sanitised after every use. •Set up different areas for ordering and collection. •Use separate doors for entry and exit, if practicable, to avoid contact between people. •Ensure customers wait outside and practice social distancing, if safe to do so, for takeaway collection. Condiments/BYO: • No condiments left on tables (including salt & pepper). Condiments should be disposable and not stored or distributed from a common container. • No public water stations. • You should refuse to accept keep-cups, BYO alcohol bottles, or containers for safety reasons. Food and Beverage: • Menu’s should either be laminated for easy cleaning or should be completely disposable after each use. • No bar service and no waiting at the bar. • Limit all shareable items from menus. • No buffets or shared ‘serve yourself’ sections such as salad bars etc. • No open food displays or food on display meant for consumption. Cutlery: • Use disposable/ recyclable cutlery/ glassware when available and adhere to strict table clearing guidelines requiring gloves. • Non-disposable crockery / cutlery/ glassware permitted when cleared after each course and washed using a commercial grade dishwasher or glasswasher only.

Information sourced from Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA)

13 HAIRDRESSING AND BEAUTY : BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES

Some stores and outlets offering services in the hair and beauty industry will require extra safety measures and protocols. Below are recommended measures specific to salon, barbershop and clinic environments to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

BOOKINGS / TIME MANAGEMENT

• Managing your appointment schedule to have the appropriate number of clients in your Salon to practice distancing guidelines. i.e blocking appointments and also taking into consideration processing time or services which require more than one touch point. • Rescheduling appointments if clients feel in any way unwell or have flu like symptoms. • Include extra time with each appointment so there is no overlap of clients arriving and leaving the salon. • Block time out in the appointment book to allow for cleaning and preparation for each clients arrival. • Discuss with your client to have clean hair on arrival.

• Ask clients when booking to attend their salon appointment alone. • When booking clients request they bring their own refreshments.

CLIENT MANAGEMENT /ARRIVAL

• Consider removing seats and reduce the number of clients in the reception area as well as having only 1 staff member at the reception area. • On arrival provide your client with a clean gown and ask them to put this on and secure without assistance. • As hairdressers interact with their client’s and some are like friends be mindful to avoid contact i.e hug on arrival, handshakes or touchin g. • Educate your client to understand you are managing a schedule and if they could leave after their service is complete, if they wish to rebook etc offer to call them and arrange their next visit.

CHECK

o Educate salon assistants to clean / sweep the area after the client has left the space. o If you are behind schedule contact your next client and update their arrival time. o If receiving stock orders and supplies make them contactless.

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CLIENT SERVICES IN SALON To help you achieve 4 square metres of space per person (or where not reasonable, to achieve the maximum space per person) limit the number of workers and clients in the workplace at the one time.

You can achieve this by:

WORK AREAS /EQUIPMENT

• Map out your salon space for everyone to be able to move around safely in the salon. • Magazines, books and newspapers, brochures, salon menu’s and promotional material need to be removed . Consider offering complimentary WiFi. • Spread out client stations or close down every second client station (including those in the basin area). • Set your work trolley or area with everything you require for the clients service, tools, products,equipment. • If you are having foiling, balyage set your trolley with everything you need so that you can work alone without an assistant. • Be mindful to have limited contact with others in your workspace.

POST CLIENTS SERVICE

• After the client service when attending the reception area make sure there is only the receptionist or you and your client – e.g. using wireless eftpos machine and other electronic devices to finalise payment. • All capes, towels(if not disposable) and gowns are to be laundered between clients. • Clean and disinfect brushes, scissors, combs, razors, etc with the appropriate cleaning products and disinfectant after each client (check your cleaning products are appropriate to use for COVID-19). • When styling or using,bobby pins,fringe pins,combs and clips make sure they have not been used on another client’s hair.

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EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS / EMPLOYER RELATIONS

Employers should be taking additional steps to ensure the health and safety of their staff and customers, and this goes beyond the government advice on social distancing and physical health and safety measures.

Obligations to Staff

Mental Health of Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted workplaces and support programs such as JobKeeper have brought their own challenges for retailers doing their best to support their staff. As we enter the recovery period, employers should be planning the next steps of their reopening - will staff be gradually phased or are you planning to open at near full capacity? Plan your operations and give your staff notice of changes - communicate clearly, keep them informed. There’s plenty to consider: how to deal with suspected COVID-19 cases, what about staff at a higher risk of contracting the virus or those who don’t want to return to work yet, potential changes to hours and pay. For questions like these, ARA members should contact our employment relations support team so we can help you navigate the challenges.

The emergence of COVID-19 across the globe has created a new work health and safety risk that retail businesses need to manage. Workers may be at an increased risk of exposure to other hazards stemming from the current situation, such as workplace aggression and violence. We should take a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and violence in the workplace. Retailers have a duty under the health and safety laws to manage risks associated with exposure to hazards arising from work that could result in physical or psychological harm. Now is the time for retailers to take a systematic approach to manage the risks of customer aggression and protect the health and safety of our staff.

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EMPLOYMENT Checklist

Appoint return to work team: Consider HR, IT, facilities, health and safety team, office managers and senior management who can make company-wide decisions; identify new roles and responsibilities.

Workplace policies and other practices; training: Develop new or update existing policies and other practices, and consider how such policies or protocols will be communicated to employees, including formal training. Identify who returns to work and when: Consider timing issues (e.G., Bringing back all employees, or staggering return to work dates), amount of notice to provide employees, and how many employees will be allowed in store at once (including any applicable occupancy limits required by law). Determine which laws apply: Laws will vary by state and territory, and the law is likely to impose different requirements or restrictions on “essential” and “non-essential” retailers. Determine transition plan: Consider whether to (i) reopen operations and get employees back to work as quickly as permitted under the applicable law, or (ii) implement a slow or phased approach. Develop a process to handle re-integration logistics.

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Transition from leave: Prepare a communication plan for calling employees back to work.

Determine how to handle refusal to work and requests for accommodations: Consider issues around "at-risk" groups and accommodation s requests due to logistical and other barriers when returning to the worksite.

Establish well-defined protocol for dealing with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 .

Consider testing measures: Consider different screening processes and protocols, including questionnaires, self-certifications, temperature and other symptom checks, and virus and/or antibody testing, if available and legally permissible.

Determine rules for visitors, vendors and other workers in the workplace: Determine how or to what extent the above policies, practices, and protocols will be applicable to temporary workers, staffing agency workers, independent contractors, vendors, delivery workers, and other visitors when they are in the workplace. Consider potential changes in pay, hours, schedules, duties, wage/hour. Consider how bonuses, incentive pay, or free benefits may implicate regular rate calculations, potentially impacting overtime , holiday and sick pay.

Assess offerings to support employee physical and mental health through an employee assistance program.

Determine which workplace safety laws apply: Law will vary by state and territory, and the law is likely to impose different requirements for masks and other ppe, social distancing protocols, and cleaning requirements, in addition to related notices.

Evaluate hiring practices/hiring needs in light of covid19-: evaluate the need to hire additional employees due to increased business needs or unavailability of current employee pool.

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Social distancing guidelines and expectations. Employee Training

How to monitor personal health and body temperature at home.

How to properly wear, remove, and dispose of face masks and PPE.

Guidance on how to launder cloth face masks and uniforms.

Cleaning protocol, including how to safely and effectively use cleaning supplies

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FAQs

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Symptoms include shortness of breath or cough, with or without a fever. In some cases, the virus can cause severe pneumonia. The symptoms can start between 2 and 14 days from exposure to the virus . How is COVID-19 spread? COVID-19 can be spread from person-to-person. This can happen when a person comes into contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected person, for example through coughing or sneezing. Spread of this coronavirus from person-to-person is usually between close contacts. Close contacts have been defined as those people who have been face-to-face with a person infected with the virus for at least 15 minutes (cumulative over the course of a week while the person was infectious) or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours with an infected person. Spread of this coronavirus can also occur through touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face. Can staff obtain a medical clearance for work? It is not possible to obtain a “medical clearance” for COVID-19 unless your employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19. In the early stages of infection (before people have symptoms), it may not be possible to detect the virus. Testing when you do not have symptoms could give a false negative result.

Source: Government COVID-19 FAQs

Is social distancing required mandatory in the workplace? Social distancing must be followed at work as far as practicable, based on principles published by the Department of Health. Risk assessments should be conducted and suitable control strategies implemented. I employ vulnerable staff, what should I do? Employers that have employees who are at increased risk of adverse outcomes if they contract COVID-19 coronavirus due to pre-existing medical conditions or age should consider if the team member can work from home, or if the job can be modified to reduce risk factors such as contact with the public. Where this is not possible, staff should be encouraged to use existing leave entitlements. Do my staff need to wear surgical masks? General COVID-19 coronavirus information on surgical masks and who should use surgical masks has been published by the Australian Government Department of Health. Surgical masks are not currently recommended for healthy members of the public, or for customer service workers. My team members may come into close contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus. Should the staff use personal protective equipment (PPE)? If a staff members comes into close contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in the course of their work, employers must put controls measures in place to minimise the risk of a worker contracting the virus so far as practicable.

Source: Worksafe COVID-19 FAQs

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LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE

Retail has long been on the frontlines of change and customer expectations and experiences will continue to rapidly evolve, with this shift accelerated by the pandemic.

For example, in the future shoppers are likely to use their mobiles more in-store to navigate and take advantage of information and special offers - combining the digital and physical experience for the best of both worlds. The customer insights gleaned from smarter ways of shopping will help staff to have an even greater understanding of what their customers are looking for and to be able to provide that service in a more flexible way.

As food for thought, here are some other examples of future innovations which are already being embraced by some retailers here and overseas:

· Stores may use booking systems and offer appointments to help with social distancing.

· Technologies to measure the number of people in a store and how long they stay there.

· Automated daily or hourly deep cleanings.

· Virtual fitting solutions, such as digital mirrors to allow customers to see what items look like on them without physically trying them on.

· Virtual reality solutions to see how beauty products look on customers.

· Consumers may prefer germ and contamination resistant packaging - or packaging that can be easily disinfected.

· Virtual assistance sessions with customers get help with personal styling, shopping assistance or e-commerce related activities.

· Controlled shifts to ensure if one shift was exposed to coronavirus, it doesn't potentially require shutting down the entire store.

COVID-19 RETAIL RECOVERY PROTOCOL

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The ARA has united with key industry groups: The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA), National Retail Association (NRA), Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) to develop the below Retail Recovery Protocol for COVID-19.

THIS PROTOCOL:

· is a simple, practical and public-health led guide for retailers and shopping centres that continue to trade, are re-opening or are preparing to re-open when COVID - 19 restrictions ease,

· is particularly focussed on public gatherings, whereby retail employees, customers, contractors and others are physically in a retail store or shopping centre,

· provides 10 key actions that should be taken, however it does not substitute legislative responsibilities. Further guidance should be taken from National Cabinet decisions, public health authorities and workplace health and safety authorities such as WorkSafe Australia, and; · key actions will be different at each shopping centre and retailer, noting that each shopping centre, retailer (e.g. café versus clothing versus pharmacy) and retail premises is different, including issues such as location, tenancy mix, operating hours, size, customer visits, open-air / enclosed spaces, customer access points, car-parks, loading docks and co-location with public transport facilities.

THE KEY PRINCIPLES WHICH HAVE GUIDED THIS PROTOCOL ARE:

· public health and safety guidelines to protect people against infection and help prevent the spread of COVID - 19,

· compliance with ongoing Government and public health authority rules, directions and restrictions, and;

· working with and assisting Government and public health authorities when required.

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KEY PUBLIC HEALTH RULES RETAILERS AND SHOPPING CENTRES NEED TO FOLLOW ARE:

· Be aware of any risks to employees, contractors and the community for any aspect of retail trade, including deliveries to loading docks and within stores, re-stocking, opening and hours of trade

· Facilitating and encouraging social distancing to ensure a 1.5m distance can be maintained

· Ensuring adherence to public gathering limits to ensure there is no more than 1 person per 4m 2 and stores, and;

· Any centre or retail-type specific restrictions such as cinemas, food courts and cafes and restaurants.

ALL AUSTRALIANS ARE REMINDED:

· To treat retail workers with respect as they continue to serve and ensure the community can access essential and other goods and services, and

· Abusive and violent behaviour towards retail workers is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

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KEY ACTIONS THAT RETAILERS AND SHOPPING CENTRES SHOULD TAKE ARE:

Making alcohol-based hand sanitiser at key locations such as store entrances, building entrances, customer service desks and food courts.

Increasing frequent cleaning and disinfecting of regularly used objects and hard surfaces (e.g. payment registers, payment terminals, hand-rails, bathroom door handles, shelves, shopping trolleys, counters and benches, food-court tables, staff-rooms) and other key hygiene measures (e.g. waste disposal).

Facilitating and encouraging social distancing guidelines in accordance with Government or public health authority directions, which is currently a distance of 1.5m. Actions could include signage ‘reminders’, one-way queueing, and ground markings (e.g. stickers or tape) for queueing.

Ensuring public gathering limits in accordance with Government direction are adhered to, which is currently no more than 1 person per 4m2 in stores (inclusive of staff), can be maintained. Actions could include reducing or regulating access points, monitoring customer counts at relevant entrances, and displaying signage.

Promoting contactless transactions such as ‘tap and go’ instead of cash for payments, facilitating distancing at counters and benches, and staff wearing disposable gloves when they are handling objects and money.

Monitoring and encouraging customer adherence to relevant public health guidelines by security guards and other personnel, which may also include Police visits to shopping centres.

Checking-in daily checks with employees on their well-being, ensuring employees and contractors are properly trained and have access to relevant information and personal protective equipment (PPE). These check-ins will include monitoring customer behaviour to ensure retail workers are being treated with respect - abusive and violent behaviour towards retail workers will not be tolerated.

Fostering open and frequency communication between shopping centre management and retailers, including to alert each party to any Government or public health authority directive, to assist authorities when required, and continue to release information and guidance to employees and customers about good hygiene advice.

Continuing to focus on the community’s access to essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and health and medical facilities, especially for vulnerable people.

The above issues could be summarised in a COVID-19 Recovery Safety Plan, which could be made available to employees, contractors and the community, and which could be reviewed and amended regularly as restrictions ease and in response to any Government or public health authority directive.

Maintaining relevant essential safety measures such as air-handling systems, exit doors, emergency power supply, smoke alarms, sprinkler systems and fire-isolated stairs.

*Key actions will be different at each shopping centre and retailer, noting that each shopping centre, retailer (e.g. café versus clothing versus pharmacy) and retail premises is different, including issues such as location, tenancy mix, operating hours, size, customer visits, open-air / enclosed spaces, customer access points, car-parks, loading docks and co-location with public transport facilities.

CONTACT DETAILS

Level 1, 112 Wellington Parade East Melbourne VIC 3002 info@retail.org.au 1300 368 041 www.retail.org.au

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www.retail.org.au

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