// Charity shops in the UK to quarantine donations for 72 hours
// Stores are due to reopen from June – subject to government guidance
Charity shops will reportedly quarantine all donations for 72 hours and customers will be required to use hand sanitiser before browsing, under new plans to prepare reopening their doors in June.
While many are preparing to reopen, it will mean implementing new physical distancing and hygiene rules as they may have to operate on reduced hours.
Barnardos will be among the first to start trading, with plans to reopen 70 of its 700 UK shops in England from June 8, with staff and volunteers restarting the previous week to begin preparations, The Guardian reported.
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In line with guidance issued by the Charity Retail Association (CRA), it will put all new donations – from clothing to books, china and glass – into quarantine for a minimum of 72 hours.
Meanwhile, donors will be directed to “donation’” points, such as empty shops or warehouses, rather than just leaving goods in doorways and outside shops.
Changing rooms will be closed to minimise the risk of contamination.
Charity shops will also hire waste companies to deal with the donations that have been left out in the city and town centres during lockdown.
Charities have been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown, with some reporting millions of pounds a month lost as a result of shops being closed.
Cancer Research UK estimated that the impact of coronavirus has led to a 20-25 per cent drop in its fundraising income – a shortfall of £120 million.
It is planning a phased reopening of its shops in England from June 29 – subject to government guidance.
The stores will be implementing new safety measures such as installing hand sanitiser stations, cough guards, contactless payment and face coverings for staff, as well as floor markings inside larger superstores.
The plan is similar at the British Heart Foundation, which has 750 UK stores as well as an online operation, and has lost around £10 million a month as a result of the lockdown.
Meanwhile, Oxfam has urged the public to donate items to 650 of its shops once they reopen.