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05 May 2020

New rules for your customer area

Are you allowed to open your shop now?

Under Section 2 of the "COVID-19-Lockerungsverordnung" (VO BGBl II 197/2020) ordinance, customers are allowed to enter your customer area under certain conditions. This means you can reopen your shop, but you must comply with certain conditions.

Suitable measures must be taken to ensure that there is only one customer per 10 m2 in the customer area at any time. If the customer area is smaller than 10 m2, only one customer at a time may enter.

For shops in structurally connected business premises (e.g. shopping centres or market halls), the customer areas of all shops and the area of the connecting building must be added together and it must be ensured that only one customer per 10 m2 is in the shopping centre. In addition, the maximum number according to the previous paragraph must also be observed in each individual shop.

Measures to be taken

In all shops, face masks are obligatory for both staff in contact with customers and customers (exception: children under the age of six and persons who cannot be expected to wear a face mask due to health reasons) and a minimum distance of one metre between people who do not live in the same household must be ensured.

Special rules for outdoor markets: In this case it must be ensured that a minimum distance of one metre is maintained between customers who do not live in the same household and that both customers and employees wear a face mask when they come into contact with customers.

The minimum distance does not have to be maintained between people with disabilities and their accompanying persons who provide personal assistance or care services, nor does it have to be observed if suitable protective devices are available between the persons to separate them spatially.

Exceptions for certain services

If, due to the nature of the service, it is not possible

  • to maintain the minimum distance of one metre between the customer and the service provider and/or
  • for the customer to wear a face mask,

the service is only permitted if the risk of infection can be minimised by other suitable protective measures.

What are the first steps towards reopening?

  • Measure your customer area.
  • Calculate how many customers can be in your store at the same time (maximum one customer per 10 m2).
  • Use a notice by the entrance door to inform potential customers of the maximum number of customers allowed to enter at the same time.
  • Nominate a responsible employee who will ensure at the entrance that the maximum number of customers is not exceeded and that only customers with masks enter the store.
  • Inform your employees which duties they must comply with and which duties they must ensure customers comply with (particularly the duty to wear a mask and to keep a minimum distance of one metre apart).
  • Make sure that all your employees who come into contact with customers wear masks.
  • Draw lines in the checkout area or other areas where people are expected to congregate to help customers keep a distance of one metre apart.
  • If the paths for customers are less than 2.20 m wide (i.e. the minimum distance of one metre cannot be maintained in the case of oncoming traffic), organise a one-way system.
  • Make sure that the one-metre distance between people is maintained even during the payment process. Create a system in which the customer does not put money directly into the hands of the salesperson and point out that contactless payment is preferred at POS terminals.
  • Disinfect the POS terminals and shopping carts regularly.
  • It is also recommended that you provide a dispenser with disinfectant at the entrance area for use by both staff and customers.
  • Check whether, due to the nature of your service, the minimum distance and/or the obligation of the customer to wear a face mask cannot be complied with and determine alternative suitable protective measures (e.g. protective clothing for employees, time limit for interactions in which the staff and customer are less than one metre apart, etc.).



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