The Booksellers Association has issued bookshops with guidelines and safety kits, as retailers prepare to open from Monday 15th June in line with government guidelines.
The safety kits include posters and till and window cards, to let customers know shops are open and remind browsers to keep a safe distance.
The guide outlines some of the options for bookshops looking to reopen, including offering click and collect options, following a one-in-one-out rule, reduced opening hours and allowing more time for in-store deep cleaning. It also features up-to-date information from publishers and distributors about supplying stock and returns.
The guide also includes advice on ensuring staff and customer safety, protecting mental health and wellbeing and risk assessments, as well as tips on reorganising browsing space and protocols to follow if someone becomes unwell on the premises.
Andy Rossiter, BA president, said: “The choice of when and how to open is not necessarily straightforward. At the BA, we continue to liaise with suppliers, other retail bodies and trade organisations, and booksellers’ associations around the world, to gather best practice advice. We hope that the guide will support bookshops no matter their approach, and that the kit will help booksellers in creating safe spaces for book lovers across the country."
He added: "In addition to the clear challenges from a business perspective, there will also be an emotional toll on many booksellers at this time, and we want them to know that we will be here for them every step of the way, and that there are many other organisations that can offer support too.”
The BA's provision for independent bookshops has been applauded in Ireland, where bookshops started to reopen this week.