The sales started on Wednesday July 15th. Originally scheduled for June 24, sales start late, for four weeks instead of six. The French, who saved during the confinement some 60 billion euros according to the government, will be able to spend. What, perhaps, sell the stocks of stores, still very important for the period.
But the epidemic is not yet behind us. As Bruno Le Maire announced on July 13, no reduction in the health protocol is planned. On the contrary, wearing a mask will even be made compulsory on August 1.
Despite the measures taken by the stores, however, we must remain cautious. To avoid catching coronavirus on store shelves, RTL gives you 8 tips to follow, in addition to the usual barrier gestures.
1. Respect physical distance
We say it, and we repeat it. Physical distancing is the first way to protect yourself against the coronavirus. In shops, respect the minimum distance of one meter from other people, and more if you can.
To respect distances, you also need pay attention to the crowds inside the store. Some shops restrict access to a certain number of people, so you will have to queue outside. You can also go to the store at less frequented hours, or consult beforehand an application of measurement of frequentation of places like Crowdless or Affluences.
Finally, if you are used to balancing with friends, it may be wise to give it up this year. This will allow you to more easily respect the distancing, and to be less numerous together in the stores.
2. Wear a mask
Even if the mask will only be mandatory from August 1 in all enclosed public places, wearing a mask limits the projection of droplets, and therefore reduces the risk of contamination. Hanging on one ear or under the chin, the mask is useless: wear it well on your nose and mouth and do not touch it. Once you have finished shopping, throw it away or keep it isolated in a plastic bag before washing it if it is a cloth mask.
3. Respect the markings on the ground
Many stores have installed markings on the ground in front of the cash desks or at the entrance. Others have set up a direction of circulation in the shop, or even throughout the shopping center. Respecting these markings will help you to respect physical distance, and to meet as few people as possible.
4. Beware of cross contamination
Like always, wash your hands regularly, and use the hydroalcoholic gel available at the entrance to the stores. In general, even if we do not know the risks of virus transmission depending on the surface, you can as a precaution avoid touching boxes, racks and other items on the shelves. Bringing a disinfectant can also be useful for cleaning the cart and basket handles before and after use.
Likewise, better limit cash payments and favor contactless payment, which limits the number of surfaces affected. As a reminder, the ceiling for the use of contactless payment was raised to 50 euros on May 11th.
Also pay attention to your phone, which can be a real nest for bacteria. Avoid touching it while shopping, and clean it regularly.
5. Only try what is necessary
Many stores have condemned access to their changing rooms. It is a way for them to avoid a complex cleaning procedure. In fact, stores must isolate the clothes tested for 24 hours or pass them through steam.
To avoid forcing stores to follow this procedure, and to protect themselves in case the garment becomes contaminated, try only what is necessary, if it is necessary. Learn about returns policies from your favorite stores, and don’t hesitate to get a refund if the item doesn’t suit you.
6. Wash or put items purchased in isolation
In the current state of science, it is difficult to know how and to what extent the virus remains active depending on the surfaces. The data on the subject are not yet perfectly clear. According to an article by the American HuffPost, fabrics do not harbor the virus for very long, it is complicated to clearly establish the risk of wearing a garment after purchase. If in doubt, you can therefore wash at high temperature.
To limit the risks, you can also put your clothes and other objects bought on sale in isolation for a few days, in a plastic bag.
7. Think of the internet
Sales are also online. If your favorite stores have an online store, better not move. You can also find the items you like on the site before you go, to get straight to the point in store.
Remember, however, that some small shops, which do not have a website, need it just as much as we consume at home. Especially since consumption is likely to drop significantly this year since, according to the Observatory society and consumption (L’ObSoCo), only 14% of French people are sure to go to the sales. If you want to encourage your local businesses, do so carefully, respecting barrier gestures and our other advice.
8. If in doubt, don’t go to a store
If you experience symptoms similar to those of the coronavirus (fever, cough, fatigue, loss of smell or taste …), do not go to the store. If in doubt, do not contaminate people you may meet.
Likewise, if you are one of the populations at risk for the virus (if you are over 65, suffering from a chronic disease or pregnant), it is safer to stay at home.
In short, as always since the beginning of the epidemic, it will be necessary to juggle during the balances between health security and revival of the economy. While the question of a second wave of contamination currently arises, it remains essential to take precautions.