As of Monday 12th April, the coronavirus restrictions in England were eased to allow the opening of non-essential businesses. For the motor trade, this has meant the opening of car dealerships, whilst garages (as essential businesses) were already open under government safety regulations.
For trade dealerships in particular, this means that people can once again buy cars in person instead of through click-and-collect or online sales, which have surged throughout the past three UK lockdowns.
What about restrictions in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
In Wales, non-essential businesses were allowed to reopen slightly earlier than in England, with the new ‘Stay Local’ guidelines allowing motor trade dealerships to open on 27th March. The new guidelines mean that customers can go inside dealerships – with social distancing measures in place, of course.
In Scotland, non-essential businesses were allowed to open on 5th April. While customers are allowed to visit dealerships outside, prospective car buyers will need to book an appointment in advance to be allowed inside a dealership.
In Northern Ireland, the restrictions are stricter, with no customers are allowed inside motor trade dealerships just yet. However, customers are still allowed to visit dealerships outside and browse cars in an ‘open air’ site.
Safety regulations for your workplace
Although the UK is slowly pulling itself out of the lockdown restrictions, it is more important than ever to stick to government safety guidelines.
When allowing customers into your motor trade dealership or garage, you should stick to social distancing as much as possible, keeping the recommended 2m of space between anybody on the premises. You may need to limit the number of people allowed on your site at any one time to achieve this.
To keep things as safe as possible, it’s also a good idea to keep hand sanitiser at the entrance of your site, so that anybody entering can clean their hands. Likewise, it might be a good idea to sanitise areas which people (staff or customers alike) have touched, such as pens or doors.
And, as has become standard practice all over the UK, try to ensure that everybody on your site wears a mask to protect themselves and others around them.
We’re happy that, after such a long and difficult year, motor trade dealerships are allowed to open back up once again. It’s important that we stick to the guidelines currently in place to ensure it stays that way.
To speak to us about your insurance needs, please get in touch with a member of the Tradesure team on 0121 248 9300.