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Covid safety remains a concern for shoppers returning to the high street

New research from Mitie has revealed that while restrictions have now lifted, almost three quarters (73 per cent) of Brits are still worried about visiting shops and cafés where there are no Covid-19 measures in place.

In addition, more than half (53 per cent) went as far as to say they will only go into shops which have visible anti Covid measures.

Ensuring a regular flow of clean air was a high priority for many adults (54 per cent), who say they would be more comfortable spending time inside high street shops and cafés where there is increased air ventilation. Similarly, more than a quarter (28 per cent) would like technology that reduces viruses from the air, such as ultraviolet light, to be in place.

As well as clean air systems, over half (54 per cent) of those surveyed want to see an increased cleaning regime in place and a similar number (52 per cent) want social distancing to continue on the high street, while half (50 per cent) would like to see hand sanitiser available in stores.

The research also showed that consumers aren’t yet ready to give up their face coverings, with three in five (59 per cent) of Brits saying they would continue to wear masks when visiting a high street store. Forty-five per cent said they wanted shops to have a compulsory face mask policy.

Other measures that would offer peace of mind are increased touch point cleaning, which a third (36 per cent) want to see in shops and cafés, while a quarter (25 per cent) of Brits want temperature checks for everyone using the building.

The survey also shows that investing in safety measures is not only the right thing to do, but also makes good business sense too. Two thirds (67 per cent) of respondents confirmed that they would look more favourably on a business that can show it is taking the virus seriously and is Covid secure. And more than half (54 per cent) of Brits even said that they will choose to spend their money with businesses that can show they are putting Covid safety measures in place.

Meanwhile, a fifth of UK adults (22 per cent) confirmed that they would spend more time in a store if they could see that anti-Covid measures were in place. A compulsory mask policy, social distancing measures, increased cleaning and visible air ventilation would all encourage shoppers to spend around half an hour longer inside if they were in place.

Daniel Guest, Chief Operating Officer, Mitie Technical Services, said: “While the nation’s Covid restrictions are no longer in place, it is clear that there remains concern from the public that shops, cafés and other retail premises are safe spaces to visit.

“By investing in measures like increased cleaning regimes and technology like UV light that can help kill viruses in the air, retail and hospitality businesses can keep their customers safe, prevent the spread of the virus, and give consumers confidence to spend time on the high street.”

Six steps to facilities management in the post-pandemic world

As workplaces open up and restrictions lift the role of the FM has become more important than ever.

The challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic are now providing a valuable opportunity for FMs to demonstrate their skills and adaptability. Whilst on a practical level FMs are responsible for making buildings safe and comfortable, they are also crucial in attracting people back to the office.

In speaking with industry leaders, it is clear that there are six key areas of focus. Zip has published a white paper which looks at each one, suggesting ways that facilities managers can tackle the complexities and pace of a return to the workplace, whilst demonstrating clear and effective leadership along the way.

To find out more download the white paper here.


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