Updated 24/03/2020 07:45
Launderettes and dry-cleaners are permitted to remain open providing the following is followed:
"Retail and public premises which we expect to remain open must:
- Ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants; and
- Let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.
- Queue control is required outside of shops and other essential premises that remain open."
Launderettes make a vital contribution to Public Health by providing facilities to the general public for washing clothes, bedding and towels etc. We believe that launderettes should continue to stay open, following guidelines to protect the health of staff and customers.
Launderette owners and operators should familiarize themselves with the business and staffing guidance given at www.gov.uk/coronavirus. The following is industry-specific advice for Launderettes and their customers.
The Prime Minister's evening address on 23/03/2020 contained no specific information regarding launderettes. NALI agree that it is vital to slow the spread of the disease, but firmly believe that an individual's hygiene is a contributory factor. Other countries have realized this and allowed, or even encouraged, launderettes to continue to operate, and we believe this will, and should be, the case in the UK. Our advice to launderette owners is to remain open, whether you offer self-service and serviced-washing, or if you wish to restrict your service to just one offering, providing the advice below is followed. You may also wish to restrict the number of customers in the shop at a time, and reinforce social distancing.
Advice for Launderette owners:
It must be remembered that this virus can live on non-porous surfaces for many days, and the incubation period is commonly around 5-7 days.
A regular program of disinfecting/sanitizing must be followed as frequently as possible, ideally after every customer-use of a machine. Surfaces to concentrate on are those likely to be touched by a customer using the launderette, including shop door handles, soap-hatch lid handles, machine temperature and programme controls, door handles, coin acceptor face-plates, soap-cups, baskets, etc. An anti-bacterial product should be used together with disposable paper and gloves which should be discarded in a dedicated bin or bag in the staff area of the shop. You may consider removing unnecessary items that customers may touch like magazines and waste bins.
Any service-washes that are processed should be washed at the highest temperature available for the items in the load.
For customers who are self-isolating as a precaution and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 (most commonly the recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature) you may wish to offer a collection and delivery service. We would advise, where possible, that bags are collected from, and returned to, the door-step and payment taken by ‘phone or online.
For customers who are self-isolating due to the display of symptoms, they should leave an extra 72 hours at the end of their 7 or 14 day isolation period before visiting a launderette or sending laundry to be processed.
Signs should be displayed informing customers of the action being taken and giving them advice as below.
Advice for Launderette customers:
If you are self-isolating due to the display of symptoms, please leave an extra 72 hours at the end of your 7 or 14 day isolation period before visiting a launderette or sending laundry to be processed.
Before taking your laundry to a launderette, whether to use the machines yourself or for a service was, shake out your items well at home, and place unfolded in your bag. Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving home.
Where possible when using machines, place the mouth/opening of your bag directly into the machine and tip your articles in. You may wish to consider wearing your own rubber gloves.
Only let your hands touch the surfaces you need to in order to operate and load / unload machines.
Keep a reasonable distance between staff and other customers using the facilities.
Keep any children under close supervision and do not let them run around touching everything.
Take all your rubbish home.