Can you try on clothes in a shop during Covid?

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Shopping trips make life feel a bit more normal. The majority of us don’t need any new clothes at the moment, since we’re staying at home more than ever. However, most of the UK is still able to go to clothing stores and browse through the clothes. This is great news for retail workers and Brits who need a regular serving of retail therapy. But can you try on clothes in a shop during covid?

After at least seven months of sitting at home in tracksuits and loungewear, many people are eager to slip into something a bit more formal.

Whether you’re in the market for a new jumper or some sturdy boots to see you through the winter, you probably want to try them on in store.

The number of people who shop for their groceries online has doubled since the start of the pandemic, and some online clothing retailers have also seen an increase in sales.

UK online fashion retailer Asos added three million customers to its active customer base.

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Even still, there’s nothing like going into a store and trying on items you love.

However, the experience of shopping for clothes is not the same as it was pre-covid.

Masks are mandatory and you have to watch your step to avoid breaching social distancing.

Many of us are desperate to try everything on in a fitting room… but is this possible?

Can you try on clothes in a shop during Covid?

The rules regarding fitting rooms in clothing stores are quite blurry, but the short answer is no.

The guidelines say that fitting rooms should be closed wherever possible given the challenges in operating them safely.

In most stores, you’ll find that the fitting rooms are closed.

On top of that, Gov.uk states that retail staff should encourage customers not to handle products whilst browsing.

The rules also state that staff should advise customers to use hand sanitiser or wash their hands as they enter the store.

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On the other hand, the guidelines also suggest that sometimes fitting rooms are considered essential.

For example, to support key workers buying critical protective clothing.

Where this is the case, the fitting rooms should be cleaned after every use and clothes should be held in a separate room for 48 hours or cleaned straight away.

Fitting assistance will also not be possible in any way.

Similarly, items that have been returned, donated, or brought in for repair in a container or separate room for 48 hours or clean them before display.

The British Independent Retailers Association has pointed out that this guidance is very broad, using words such as “usually needed”; “wherever possible”; “where something is essential”; “limiting contact”.

The phrase “Where fitting rooms are essential” could allude to being essential to your business as well as to the customer.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed that it is up to each business to decide if they need to have fitting rooms open.

BEIS told BIRA: “Each business should determine where use of fitting rooms is essential in line with their health and safety duties, if deemed essential should be cleaned very frequently, typically between each use, as per the guidance.”

The Health and Safety Executive confirmed that if you can clean the fitting rooms after every use, you may be able to open them.

BIRA warned that this is not legal advice, it is just an interpretation of the guidelines.

They stated: “The use of changing rooms, the trying on of clothes and shoes can all be done in store providing that you as the retailer can show that you are taking steps to minimise the risk.

“The one strong theme of the guidance for re-opening is ensuring you have a robust risk assessment in place.

“In the smaller, boutique fashion shops, changing rooms are an integral part of the selling process – more important to those businesses than the larger stores.”

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