At the end of June, we saw the Prime Minister outline the government’s plans for the next stage of changes to lockdown measures in England. But what does the gradual easing of restrictions mean for you?
Well, one of the key announcements was about changes to social distancing guidelines. It was confirmed that people should continue to aim to keep two metres apart but where this is not possible they should keep to ‘one metre plus’ with other mitigations such as face coverings, sitting side by side rather than face to face, to reduce risk of transmission and frequent use of hand sanitiser. This move from two-metre distancing to ‘one metre plus’ will help smaller stores by allowing more customers in stores so long as the risk is managed.
June saw ‘non-essential businesses’ begin to open their doors and this month will see more businesses and service providers reopen, including hair salons, museums, playgrounds and outdoor gyms. This will be good news in that people will be moving, and particularly driving, more.
We know from our Covid-19 impact survey and from speaking to forecourt retailers that one of the services which has been most negatively affected by the crisis is fuel, as more people worked from home, and travelled far less generally. At the same time, shop sales increased as forecourt stores were rewarded for the investment they have made in becoming credible food shops.
So the Prime Minister’s announcement that the hospitality industry can begin to open its doors again is the same trade off in reverse. Over the next few months it’s likely that as people begin to venture out of their homes that there will be an increase in UK fuel sales, especially as many households swap their summer holiday abroad for local day trips or staycations. It’s also likely that the 30% of food and drink consumed from cafes, bars and restaurants will gradually start to flow from shops including forecourts and back into the hospitality sector.
For our part, we will continue to keep you updated with the latest information from government for your businesses and as always, if you have any questions please get in touch.