// Retail sector urged by Bureau Veritas to not delay stricter measures amid pandemic
// Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed the toughened measures on Tuesday
// Bureau Veritas has worked with various sectors amid the pandemic to help them set Covid-secure guidance
The retail industry has been urged by a testing and inspection company to step up the fight against Covid-19 by introducing stricter measures to avoid the risk of fines or closure.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke in the House of Commons yesterday to reveal the toughened measures which now mean retail workers will need to wear face masks from Thursday.
Bureau Veritas, which focuses on global health and safety, has advised that retail businesses must offer a more robust and formalised framework as the UK heads for a likely second wave of infections.
The company has been working with various sectors throughout the pandemic to help them implement Covid-secure guidance.
However, it warned that retailers should not delay introducing stricter coronavirus measures.
“In recent weeks, there’s been much public debate and confusion on the lack of consistency in introducing, maintaining and enforcing Covid-secure measures such as social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and hand hygiene,” Bureau Veritas UK chief executive Ken Smith said.
“From workplaces and schools, through to shops, restaurants and bars, and hotels – in Tuesday’s speech to the Commons, Boris Johnson has sought to provide clarity to consumers and businesses alike by making it a legal requirement for certain sectors to adhere to the ‘Covid-secure’ measures announced in May.
“The move is monumental and shows that the government is serious about businesses going further in helping to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
“As experts in helping businesses become ‘Covid-secure’, our advice is clear – firms should heed the warning, tighten up their procedures and processes, introduce stricter measures and monitoring if necessary, otherwise they risk being fined.
“At a time when many firms are still grappling with the challenges of getting their businesses back up and running after months of lockdown restrictions, keeping up with and introducing evolving requirements is no doubt an added pressure.
“For those seeking further clarification on the latest announcement, it’s worth bringing in an outside compliance consultancy such as Bureau Veritas – like many sectors, we’ve adapted rapidly to become experts in understanding the correct health, hygiene and safety practices to protect staff and customers whilst remaining safely operational.
“The good news is, many firms already have fairly stringent Covid-secure measures in place, so it’s really a case of formalising a best practice approach and remaining as vigilant as possible to potential outbreaks, as ultimately, this will help to save lives.
“Thinking now in a different way as to how organisations are run, how people are engaged is essential as remember these measures are there to ensure protection of staff and customers.”