It’s been a rather surreal couple of months, for all of us.
At the beginning of lockdown, I honestly couldn’t have imagined closing our shop for even one day.
Then, when we had to close, we were told it would be “for a minimum of three weeks” but I kept thinking, “they’ll let us know tomorrow that we can all go back to work”.
Yet, here we are, after nearly three months, getting ready to open!
But we have had to think about every step of our daily activities in the shop for our customers, and our own, safety against the virus.
So what are we doing to make our little shop a protective environment and to keep customers safe after lockdown?
We want you to know that you can carry out the essentials like to get your watch battery replaced, or have your ring resized, or purchase a gift for a loved one and stay safe.
Maybe you want to lose yourself for a short while looking at beautiful jewellery without the worry of what’s going on outside in the world.
We have a little shop so social distancing of 2 metres limits the number of people we can get in our shop.
We have erred on the side of caution and only allow 2 people in at any one time. If this proves restrictive, we will reduce it to one customer at any one time.
We have tape marks on the floor helping people see where the best positioning would be to stand in order to keep to that distance.
If we need to open a cabinet for customers, we may have to politely ask the customer to stand further back for us to keep a 2-metre distance. Should there be two people already in the shop we have marked outside the shop where customers may wait before entering – it shouldn’t be too long as we are asking customers to return to collect watch batteries rather than wait whilst they are completed (not our normal pre-Covid procedure).
The Staff will also be socially distancing.
We have installed perspex screens at both the main counter and our Trollbeads counter – that means we have a space at both ends of the shop that we can carry out a conversation either side of a transparent barrier.
Hand Sanitiser will be available at our counters and we encourage our customers to use this and will request they do so if trying on rings.
Hand Washing Facilities
There is no better way to rid any germs that have been in contact with our hands than washing with hot water and soap. Remember, too, that our rings can harbour germs – we detail these findings in our blog on the subject here.
Our staff already know, but are now actively encouraged, to wash their hands between contact with customers or customer’s jewellery or watches and at least every 30 minutes even without having had any customer contact.
UV Sterilising Machine
We have purchased a UV Sterilising Unit which was developed to be used in hospitals and achieves a 99 percent disinfection rate against RNA and DNA viruses, including the Covid-19 virus, as well as other pathogens and bacteria, using ultraviolet rays.
There is no risk to jewellery or watches and is, in fact, safer than using liquid sanitiser with high alcohol content.
Tested and validated by SGS, the world’s leading inspection and certification company, it will ensure you know that should a customer want to try an item of jewellery on, it will be thoroughly cleaned afterwards and sterilised before going back on display.
Watch Battery Replacement
Every watch will be sterilised in our UV machine before we carry out a watch battery replacement.
The same will be true of jewellery repairs that we take in. This protects us and our staff.
We will carry out any repairs or battery replacements with a face shield.
Whilst we normally carry out watch battery replacement whilst customers wait in the shop, we will ask customers to return within about 10 minutes – this helps keep the shop area free and enables us the time to sterilise the watch (it takes between two to three minutes in our sterilising machine).
The guidelines suggest that Personal Protective Equipment is no replacement for good hygiene. (In fact, we believe, that the wearing of gloves all day long, with little washing, as being very unhygienic). We are also not in a high risk setting.
Our staff will be provided with gloves, should they need them, but will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently.
We have provided face shields should they need to come out behind the perspex shields or whilst they are carrying out watch and jewellery repairs, including replacement batteries, despite the item already having been sterilised. Masks will also be provided.
The shop is always cleaned thoroughly but all door handles, floors and surfaces will be washed daily and disinfected numerous times a day.
We will encourage contactless payments but our loose change in the till has been thoroughly washed in hot soapy water and dried and all notes have gone into our steriliser so that we know all money in our till is as clean as it can be. Any new notes we get will be sterilised before going into our till.
Any change will be put to one side in soapy water in a bowl to be washed with soap and hot water before it goes into the till so that we know all money in our till is thoroughly clean. (it’s more likely we would be handing change out rather than taking it in).
If you need any other information, please do contact us.
You can view our Risk Assessment, carried out in participation with our staff, here.