24 Dec 2020With festive sales on the horizon, the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has urged retailers to remain vigilant and safe in order to help halt the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The trade association stated that it is important to focus on safety protocols to ensure retail is not contributing to the spread of the COVID-19. It is crucial that businesses ensure that employees and customers are wearing face coverings when inside shops; numbers in shops at any one time are managed; and queues are managed and shoppers are socially distant. Additionally, sanitiser must be available on the way in and on the way out. Commenting on the matter, Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BIRA, said: 'At BIRA we have no crystal ball, but we can look at the facts and the trends. With that in mind we are urging all retailers to start thinking about the possibility of a further lockdown after Christmas. 'The cases are rising, and scientists are expressing concern; the warning signs are there. Despite the safety protocols in place in shops, hospitality and other venues, it would appear that the only way to truly reduce the spread of Covid-19 is by reducing social contact, and that involves closing shops.'