For general workplace guidelines, please refer to COVID-19 Workplace Information. All businesses operating in Saskatchewan must be in compliance with these guidelines. The information below provides specific information for operators of clothing and retail stores.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and people are increasingly concerned about personal protection, it is essential for retail stores to ensure safe and reliable access to retail goods – and to take measures aimed at preventing further transmission of the virus. This document outlines key steps for the sector to implement during the pandemic.
The guidance listed below is targeted at all retail operators outside of grocery stores.
Recommendations for Store Operations
Enhance the store's sanitation plan and schedule. Check that the disinfectant used in the store is appropriate for elimination of viruses. Increase cleaning and disinfection of commonly contacted areas, including doorknobs, handles, display racks, checkout areas, change rooms, keyboards, bathroom surfaces, change room surfaces, countertops, PIN pads and/or self-pay stations, hand baskets/shopping carts and light switches. Common touch areas include those accessed by customers and employees.
Ensure staff are practicing proper hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette, including:
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and handwashing isn't available.
- Only use hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then immediately dispose of the tissue and wash hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
Ensure employee and public washrooms are always well stocked with liquid soap and paper towels, and that warm running water is available. Garbage bins should be emptied frequently. Antibacterial soap is not recommended and has no additional benefit in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Provide clean carry-out bags for purchased goods. Customers should be encouraged not to use their own containers, reusable bags or boxes.
Post signs indicating that no customer packaging is to be used or placed on checkout counters.
If bulk sales areas are being used (i.e. small accessories), ensure areas are cleaned and disinfected between uses or have staff dispense the items.
If the retail operations include rentals, enhanced cleaning and disinfection must occur between all rentals.
Customers should be encouraged to minimize touching merchandise. Post signs requesting them to only touch items they intend to buy.
Discourage the use of change rooms. If they are being used, ensure the surfaces are cleaned and disinfected between each use. Only allow 50 per cent occupancy (keeping every other change room vacant) to space out customers.
Discourage the exchange or return of goods. If goods are returned:
- When possible, clean and disinfect all surfaces of the merchandise; or
- If items cannot be cleaned and disinfected, isolate goods in a separate bin (labelled with return date) for at least 72 hours before being returned to store shelves. Employees must wash their hands after handling.
For thrift stores and other businesses selling second-hand goods, where possible, launder donated/used items and dry on the hottest setting possible. For items that cannot be laundered, clean and disinfect all surfaces or isolate items in a separate bin for at least 72 hours before placing on store shelves/racks. Employees must wash their hands after handling.
Where items are kept behind counters and provided to customers to try on and handle, such as jewelry and electronics, customers should clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number) prior to handling the items. They should also avoid placing the items on or near their faces.
Place an alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number) in dispensers or soap and water hand washing stations near doors, pay stations, change rooms and other high-touch locations for customers and staff. Make wipes and trash bins available for wiping down shopping carts and disposing of the wipes.
Promote physical distancing of customers:
- Use physical line controls, such as crowd control cordons at entrances and checkout lines. Place markers (e.g. tape or cones) every two metres as visible cues to support physical distancing.
- Make announcements at regular intervals over the store speaker reminding customers to stay two metres apart.
- Post clear signs in multiple locations that indicate the maximum number of customers and staff allowed in the store at one time.
- Consider monitoring the number of customers and staff entering and exiting the store. Once the maximum number of persons is reached, allow one person to enter for every one person who leaves.
Offer and encourage online or telephone orders with delivery or pick-up services as alternatives to in-person shopping.
Glove use is not required. If staff are using gloves, they should be changed after every interaction and when changing tasks. Hand hygiene must be performed between every glove change (hand sanitizer or hand washing with soap and water).
Ask customers who arrive with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms (fever, cough or breathing issues) to return home and use a delivery service instead.
All workers, especially those in constant contact with the public, should self-monitor for symptoms and use the self-assessment tool available at saskatchewan.ca/COVID19.
For additional information, please call the Business Response Team at 1-844-800-8688 or email email@example.com.