Advice for Small Businesses Coming Out of Lockdown With Dr Ellie Cannon

It’s been wonderful to see small businesses up and down the UK opening up safely following the coronavirus lockdown. There are a number of precautions that businesses have had to take to open up safely and within government guidelines, and it can be an anxious time for both the business owners and the public who are starting to venture out.

COVID-19 secure

The government has published documents covering 12 business sectors, setting out what small business owners can do to ensure their businesses protect employees and customers against COVID-19. They call this being “COVID-19 secure” and small businesses can display badges that they have followed this guidance - partly it is a reassurance exercise for employees and customers.

The business sectors covered are all close-contact services, such as restaurants, pubs and bars, shops and salons, and hotels and guest accommodation. You can read the guidance and being COVID-19 secure here.

Following these guidelines, as well as developing strict cleaning and hygiene procedures helps to keep your staff and customers safe!

We spoke to Dr Ellie Cannon who has answered some popular questions from small business owners in the UK, who are opening their doors after lockdown. Here’s her advice...

Should I make customers use hand sanitiser when entering my shop, and does it kill coronavirus?

Absolutely yes, washing our hands and using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It is very good practice to offer hand sanitiser when a customer enters the shop to protect everybody.

How do I choose the best cleaning product for my business?

A really good question! First of all, it is important to make sure that cleaning products not only clean but also disinfect and kill viruses as well as bacteria. Make sure that you are using disinfectant as regularly and as frequently as possible and concentrated on those high-frequency areas, those that people are coming into contact with more often, for example, door handles.

If someone has symptoms how long should they wait before returning to work?

Anyone who has symptoms must stay at home, and get tested. If the coronavirus test is negative, they are saying that you can come back to work, if the test is positive you have to stay at home and isolate for 14 days.

I own a small shop, should I allow customers to browse?

We know that coronavirus does live on hard surfaces and can be transmitted by people touching those surfaces. You can reduce the chance of spreading the virus by offering your customers an alcohol-based hand sanitiser when they enter your store and by trying to keep browsing and touching to a minimum.

By keeping my windows and doors open, and increasing the ventilation, does this reduce the risk of transmission?

We can certainly see that with coronavirus, the rate of transmission is significantly lower outdoors than indoors. That’s why, when easing lockdown, outdoor activities, such as shopping at outdoor markets were allowed first.

Watch our Dr Ellie Q&A here

Your Coronavirus Questions answered with Dr Ellie Cannon...