This week we have received 2 more letters from the BEIS. Not a lot more information than we know already but reassuring all the same.
The first letter received was via Kevin Foster MP who kindly wrote to the BEIS (sometime ago) on behalf of the BFA, regarding the ‘Click and Collect situation.
The 2nd letter a response from the Scottish Government.
Kevin Foster MP
House of Commons London
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET
Our Ref: N10#2020/15654
19 May 2020
Thank you for your email of 13 May on behalf of Brian Wills-Pope, Chairman of the British Florists Association about florists offering a pick-up service. I am responding on behalf of my Department.
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. All retail, other than those listed as exceptions, must close their premises to members of the public. However, staff may be present to make deliveries or provide services in response to orders made via telephone, online, or mail. Click and collect services can also operate, though customers must not enter premises of businesses that are required to close. Delivery services may remain open and operational in line with the Government’s guidance. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal. Further guidance on which businesses and premises are required to close is at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to- close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.
We intend to re-open non-essential retail in phases from 1 June and will provide further guidance as soon as we can on the businesses covered in each phase. To ensure this can be done safely, the Government has published guidance on maintaining safe workplaces during the Covid-19 outbreak, available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19. This guidance will help shops and other businesses to consider what their operations may need to look like when they can re-open.
Thank you again for taking the time to write. I hope you and Mr Wills-Pope find this response helpful.
NADHIM ZAHAWI MP
Minister for Business and Industry
Thank you for your e-mail of 14 May. I have been asked to respond.
The Scottish Government is currently developing sectoral guidance to allow a phased approach to the re-opening of businesses and the wider economy in a safe and orderly manner. We are committed to engaging with retailers and industry bodies to look at how we restart the economy in line with the Business and Social Distancing Guidance and anticipate further detail being issued in the coming weeks.
The Scottish Government’s current Coronavirus (COVID-19): business and social distancing guidance specifically states that “Online retail is still open and encouraged”. Accordingly, retailers are permitted to sell goods online and by telephone via a delivery service which allows customers to purchase items with minimal contact.
The Scottish Government has also confirmed that deliveries can be made to customers immediately outside the premises, permitting a ‘click & collect’ type service; however, customers are strictly not permitted to enter the store. It should be noted that social distancing requirements must be adhered to at all times, as stipulated in the guidance above. In addition, the overriding guidance in Scotland remains ‘Stay at Home’. Customers travelling to the business to pick up their goods may be deemed to contravene current regulations by leaving the place where they are living without a valid reason as laid out in the current guidance. This will be a decision for the customer to make and may result in enforcement against them by Police Scotland depending on the individual circumstances.
Letters have been sent to the Welsh and Northern Ireland Departments but no response.