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Our Chairman, Peter Coulson, has posted a number of extremely well researched and extensive posts on various media to help our trade understand the financial, health and business aspects of COVID-19. The information supplied by Peter goes far and above ( for us) what we have been told by the popular media. If you have a query then please refer to these posts which can be found mainly on the Cutting Edge and SoMSR FaceBook pages and on

If you have a problem finding them you can always give me a phone call on 07540 991089

Preparing for going back to work is something we can all start to work on now.

The Austrian government are the first eurozone country to announce loosening the lockdown situation and the rest of the world is watching carefully.

Their approach is to allow smaller shops, DIY stores and garden centres to be first to reopen. After a further two week period of this, larger shopping centres, all other shops and hairdressers will follow. A further two week period will see hotels and restaurants allowed to start again.

There may be continued restrictions to movement, possibly restrictions to opening hours and maybe ongoing restrictions to assemblies of groups of people going well into the year but at least commerce and the basic routines of everyday life should restart.

If you haven't already thought about your return to work here are a few points that may help:-

If you haven't got a credit card machine, now would be a very good time to organise one. Viruses stick easily to paper money and handling it exposes you to high risk of any contamination at any time in the future.

Consider placing a screen between you and the customer. Many viruses, like COVID-19 are thought to be transmitted by droplets coming from the mouth. If you don't want to wear a mask or a visor at all times a screen could help keep you safe. Remember to leave a slot underneath to take in and return goods to your customers though. Don't forget to wipe the screen down frequently with an alcohol wipe.

Wear disposable gloves. Wear them when handling shoes, keys etc. Wear them at all times. The virus can remain on some materials for several days. Wear them once and then dispose. Do not try to remove and then put back on. Wipe down keys with alcohol wipes. Wash your hands frequently and use hand gel with a minimum 60% alcohol.

There are going to be a lot of people wanting new watch batteries - it may pay you to be very discreet when wiping these watches with the alcohol wipes. Some customers may not appreciate the importance of good hygiene with their precious timepieces.

Easier said than done- Don't touch your face.

Wipe down shop door handles etc. frequently. Anything that is touched by your customers needs to be regularly wiped with an antibacterial tissue.

If you wear an apron make sure it is washed regularly. A good idea is to have a cotton laundry bag at work, place apron in it and bung it all in the washer when you get home. (Do not try doing this in the dishwasher though... its not the same process).

Above all STAY SAFE. Customers will come back. Life will go on. Just take it one day at a time.

Thank you Peter Coulson for your invaluable contributions.

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