How to identify a safe environment establishment in the age of COVID-19?
The new normal is upon us. Businesses will reopen soon, and the economy will start running again. For the past few months, you’ve been quarantined in your home, probably ordering delivery and just going out for essentials or work if you had to. But it won’t be long now to start prepping, hopefully, for a new way of living.
As a customer, you’ll start to notice some significant changes in the places and businesses you frequent the most. You will certainly have some reservations about returning to restaurants, cinemas, beauty shops, boutiques, etc. Fortunately, the new COVID-19 safety guidelines are being implemented right now by business owners to protect employees and customers alike. What do we need to look for to make sure they are taking all the necessary measures to achieve this? Take a look at this guide to identify a safe environment establishment in the age of COVID-19:
When you revisit any business, please take a look at how they manage their influx of customers. How many are entering by the minute or hour? Do they keep a safe distance between each other in the waiting queue? Are the tables adequately separated from each other? Are the employees keeping a safe distance from you? Can you find any marks on the floor? All of the above will let you know if a business is practicing and enforcing social distancing.
The employees in the business will most likely be wearing face masks following the new safety guidelines for safe reopening. Some even may be wearing plastic protective covers, but what about the customers? Is it mandatory to wear a face mask to enter the premises? As a customer, you will feel safer if everyone around you wears one.
When you enter a restaurant, shop, or any other business, look for posters or videos that promote social distancing or any other safety protocols. These must describe how to minimize the spread with actions like hand washing and face covering.
If these resources are indeed in the business, are they visible and easy to understand? Have they got your attention?
No shared objects
Before the pandemic, shared objects found in tables were usual in restaurants; of course, this practice will now have to change. Is the place you are in discouraging item sharing? Are there any other objects in your table that may have been used by previous customers? What new protocols are in place to manipulate your payment method? Pay attention to these details to see if the business follows the new guidelines.
Physical barriers are installed now in many places where the staff interacts with customers face to face. These kinds of partitions will enforce social distancing and keep you safe from any infectious particle. Physical barriers are useful at cash registers, host stands, and food pickup areas.
Restaurants, bars, or any other business with seating tables must reduce the capacity to follow social distancing. Is this the case where you are? Are they limiting service to the drive-thru or the seating capacity appears to be the same? Other businesses like cinemas and theaters are removing seats to stick to this new regulation. If you see a crowded place, it’d be better to avoid it for now.
It’s easy to know if the business you’re at is doing something to improve ventilation: Are all the windows open? Are they encouraging outdoor seating? Maybe they’ve upgraded their ventilation system, but it’ll be better if all their customers know about it.
New hygiene protocols
Limiting the spread of the disease will be essential in public spaces now. Encouraging customers to follow the new COVID-19 hygiene protocols will be necessary for every business. So what do they have to provide during the pandemic? Hand sanitizer stations, touchless soap and paper towel dispensers should be available. As mentioned above, the businesses should indicate how to wash hands and use these new stations with posters or some visual aid.
Employees must also use gloves when taking out the trash or handling foodservice items. Check if they are doing it the correct way, if possible.
Reduced service hours
Check if the business reduced its opening hours to promote social distancing. If so, have they designated a particular time so vulnerable groups can safely visit the establishment? Are the new opening times visible to everyone? Ask for this information, if possible.
Fighting with this virus requires everyone’s cooperation. Business owners have the responsibility of keeping clients and customers safe. Still, it’s essential to identify a safe environment establishment in the age of COVID-19. This way, you can be entirely sure that you’re walking into a place committed with your safety.