The Self Storage Association UK (SSAUK) has provided some useful advice to businesses in the self storage industry as we prepare to emerge from lockdown:
The Government has begun discussions with industry and unions about the impending easing of lockdown restrictions. While further details are expected later this week, it is clear that while more businesses will be allowed to re-open, social distancing provisions will need to stay in place. Those businesses that cannot enforce the 2 meter separation will most likely need to install screens or other protective equipment to prevent transmission of the virus between people. It is expected that people will be encouraged to remain working from home where possible and staggered shifts will be recommended to ease pressure on public transport.
While self storage businesses should already be operating under the social distancing rules, you need to prepare to make this the new norm and functional with a full store of customers. Procedures that work during lockdown with limited visitors to the store may not be suitable once more people are able to travel and your store gets busier.
The SSA recommends that self storage businesses consider implementing the following in their stores:
- Placing 2m grid squares or markers on the floor in loading areas, reception, lift bays and other areas where customers may congregate.
- Extensive signage on lifts ensuring only one person in the lift at a time.
- Placing a limit on the number of people in the reception area, based on its size.
- Placing furniture or other physical barriers that prevent customers from approaching staff in reception areas.
- Continuing to encourage new customers to complete paperwork online.
- Providing masks and gloves for staff to wear if they feel they are required when interacting with customers.
- Maintaining robust cleaning practices, especially around common areas like keypads, door handles, lifts and trolleys.
Some stores may wish to consider installing clear plastic barriers to separate staff and customers in reception, particularly for smaller rooms and where paper contracts are still being completed in reception. This would be dependent on the needs of each business.
More details on the situation will be available once the government’s official policy on lockdown easing is released.
Rooks Rider Solicitors are members of SSA UK and SSA Asia. Our experts regularly deal with legal issues related to self storage in the UK, delivering results for our clients in this highly competitive environment through our in-depth knowledge of the sector. For more information about how Rooks Rider Solicitors can help you and your self storage business, please contact James John.