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Guidance For The Retail Sector

Cayman Islands Government
Published: November 18 2021
Last Updated: November 27, 2021

This guidance is intended for the owners, operators, and employees of retail establishments. It provides guidance to support a safe environment for workers and customers, as well as practical actions to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread in the retail sector.

This guidance serves as a minimum standard that should be adhered to by the relevant parties.  At all times individuals are to adhere to the current Covid-19 Regulations and the National Policy on the Use of Antigen-Detecting Rapid Diagnostic Tests (“Lateral Flow Tests”).


Workplace Safety

  • Employers have a responsibility to protect people from harm. All reasonable steps must be taken to protect workers, including contractors and delivery personnel, clients, and others from the COVID-19 disease. Business owners and employers should ensure that that preventative measures in the workplace are put in place to safeguard staff and customers. Workers who are unwell, or exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19 should remain at home
  • Implement temperature and/or symptom screenings for workers before shift begins. Temperature should be taken with a contactless infrared thermometer and a record kept.
  • Develop policies for use of PPE and ensure all staff are fully aware of the requirements and PPE provided, as necessary.

 

Additional control methods are presented below based on the hierarchy of control measures:

 

You can also download the full guidance, including an Operational Checklist for Retail Sector

Download Guidance

 

Structural Controls

  • Install handwashing stations at all entrances and monitor to ensure that persons entering the building use them properly. If a handwashing station cannot be installed, provide an alcohol-based hand rub/sanitiser. An effective alcohol-based hand rub product should contain between 60% and 80% of alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol).
  • Make hand sanitiser containing between 60% and 80% of alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol) available at the following locations: entrances, changing rooms, exits, escalators, checkout counters, stock rooms, and staff areas.
  • Ensure adequate amounts of soap and hand drying facilities are always supplied in the restrooms and encourage people to wash their hands.
  • Where feasible, use physical barriers to separate retail workers from members of the public and customers (e.g. Screens installed at the cash register)
  • Handling of merchandise should be limited.
    • Retail assistants can assist customers with holding or testing items to reduce handling by customers.
    • Adopt alternative display methods where feasible, new signage or rotation of high touch stock to enable frequent disinfection.
  • Consider providing disposable gloves for use by clients for items that cannot be easily cleaned or where cleaning and disinfection of products may be inappropriate.
  • In areas where customers form lines, place markers on the floor (at least 2 m/6 ft apart) so they can visualize a safe distance.
  • Provide customers and the public with tissues and trash receptacles.
  • Consider restricting and directing the flow of customers into and within the business.
  • Make aisles one-way and have designated entrances and exits to the store.

 

Administrative Controls

  • Conveyances and delivery vehicles must be cleaned daily or before changes to each shift.
  • Delivery personnel must be appropriately attired in clean clothing and appropriate PPE, such as disposable gloves and face masks where required (see section on Personal Protective Equipment on the use of gloves and face masks).
  • Remove products from external containers or packaging before storage. If not possible or practical, clean and sanitise packages and containers as appropriate prior to storage.

 

Guidance for Customer Management 

  • Limit the number of customers allowed in the store to ensure adequate physical distancing between patrons.
  • Consider dedicated store hours for vulnerable patrons such as the elderly.
  • Provide online ordering facilities to limit the amount of time spent by customers.
  • Where available, encourage the use of self-checkout stations. Ensure they are sanitised between uses. Use drive-through purchasing, or curbside pick-up where possible.
  • Items being returned should be done through a no-contact process. They should be brought to a designated area where they can be disinfected before being inspected via business protocols.

 

Guidance for retail customers

Retailers must do their part to ensure the safety of customers, notwithstanding, the customer has some responsibility to practice hygienic behaviours to ensure that their experience is safe.

The guidance below can be used to inform the development of signage to guide customers.

Customers should:

  • Use online ordering where available, to reduce the time spent in-store by customers.
  • Use online curbside pickup/delivery where possible
  • Reduce the frequency of shopping trips
  • Refrain from going shopping if one has symptoms of illness or one belongs to a vulnerable group (elderly, has serious pre-existing medical conditions). In such cases request assistance from friends, family, community support groups or make an online order. Retailers may provide special services and assistance for such groups.
  • Avoid taking children to shops and where possible, shop individually.
  • Shop at times when stores are less busy to avoid crowds.
  • Ensure that you have enough food to last until the next shopping outing.
  • Visit stores that use infection control measures.
  • Abide by the guidance and instructions given by retail staff.
  • Use a face mask or face covering in retail environments where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people.

 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Require workers to wear masks (cover their nose and mouth) as a preventative measure.
  • Management should ensure that all employees, shoppers, and visitors to the establishment wear a mask properly. It should cover from the bridge of the nose down to the chin. Make sure there are no gaps between the face and the mask.

 

Cleaning and Sanitation

The following tips are recommended when choosing cleaning products:

  • Choose products that clean and disinfect all at once, where available.
  • Use only cleaning chemicals approved by local regulatory authorities.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe use of cleaning and disinfection products.

 

The following cleaning tips are recommended:

  • Shopping baskets and carts should be disinfected after use before it is placed back into circulation for further use.
  • Surfaces in changing rooms should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Encourage customers to practice good hand hygiene after trying on items.
  • Use damp cleaning methods such as damp clean cloths, and/or a wet mop. Do not dust or sweep which can distribute virus droplets into the air.
  • Increase frequency of cleaning of shared spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, such as self-checkouts, and staff handheld devices (card machines, pricing instruments etc.) should be disinfected between uses.
  • Items returned should be disinfected if possible. Where disinfecting is not feasible, consider removing the item from display for a time frame appropriate for the type of material.
  • Washrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more often. Guidance for use of restrooms should be developed and displayed to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible.

 

What if staff members become ill? 

Staff members may become ill from exposure at the store or outside of the store.

  • Staff members may become ill from exposure at work, at home or out in the community.
  • Any staff member who exhibits symptoms while at home, should stay home.
  • Staff who develop flu-like symptoms while at work should be assisted to seek medical attention. Call ahead to the health facility to find out if they can receive potential COVID-19 patients or if they are referring these patients to another facility.
  • All surfaces that the infected employee has come into contact with should be cleaned, including all surfaces and objects visibly contaminated with body fluids/respiratory secretions, and all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, and telephones.
  • All staff should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, work with local health authorities and assist with identifying any workplace contacts to minimise further risk of spread.
  • Staff who have not had close contact with the original confirmed case should continue taking the usual precautions and attend work as usual.

 

What if a person with COVID-19 visits your store? 

Not every person that sneezes, coughs, or is ill with flu-like symptoms has COVID-19. There are many other reasons that can cause these symptoms. So first, remain calm. If you become aware of a person who visited your store who is suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, there are several actions and precautions you can take to protect staff and customers:

General actions

  • Follow the directives and cooperate with Public Health during their investigation.
  • Conduct an internal assessment to determine the number of possible close contacts among your staff.
  • Require all staff who are possible close contacts to comply with Public Health protocols with respect to quarantine and isolation.
  • If a customer was confirmed to have COVID-19, work with Public Health and assist with identifying any workplace contacts to minimise further risk of spread.
  • Staff who have not had close contact with the original confirmed case should continue taking the usual precautions and attend work as usual.
  • Comply with any cleaning and sanitisation requirements as per local guidelines.

 

Cleaning and Sanitization post-exposure

  • Should a suspected case be identified in the store, staff should feel safe to clean the environment as basic cleaning agents will sufficiently kill the virus. Staff should wear gloves, eye protection, a face mask, and a protective gown only during the cleaning process or when in the same room with the sick person.
  • It is important to ensure that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly.
  • Thoroughly cleaning high-touch surfaces with water and detergent and applying commonly used disinfectants (such as bleach) are effective and sufficient procedures. equipment, laundry, food service utensils and waste should be managed in accordance with safe routine procedures.
  • Displayed products, items for sales, merchandise and other items that were potentially touched or handled by the ill person should be collected separately and disinfected in such a way as to avoid any contact with persons or contamination of the environment.
  • Surfaces or objects contaminated with blood, other body fluids, secretions or excretions should be cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible using standard detergents/disinfectants. Manage laundry, food service utensils, and waste in accordance with safe routine procedures.
    • Bag or otherwise contain contaminated textiles and fabrics at the point of use
    • Handle contaminated textiles and fabrics with minimum agitation to avoid contamination of air, surfaces, and persons
    • Use leak-resistant containment for textiles and fabrics contaminated with blood or body substances
    • Identify bags or containers for contaminated textiles with labels, colour coding, or other alternative means of communication as appropriate
    • Do not use laundry chutes
    • If hot-water laundry cycles are used, wash with detergent in water >160ºF (>71ºC) for >25 minutes

Tags: Industry Guidance