Version 2 – Effective 19/7/21

Added 15/07/21

IMPORTANT – the Prime Minister has confirmed that the easing of restrictions in England will take effect from Monday 19th July.

Remember, some of the suggestions herein may not be undertaken until the 19th July, and are applicable to England only. We will publish further notes about the other UK nations when we have information available.  

Further, this is guidance approved by the CRA board. It is NOT mandatory, nor is it legal advice. As the Prime Minister has pointed out, it is now a question of individuals and employers taking responsibility for their decisions.

Guidance on easing of restrictions within charity retail


We would suggest that you would communicate to shop staff and volunteers the importance of continuing to respect personal choices around the virus, the wearing of face coverings, and the use of other protective measures. Further, many of our members are adopting a flexible approach to the easing of restrictions and allowing individual shop managers and their teams to decide the extent to which they want to ease measures, as teams can vary so much in terms of their vulnerability and personal attitudes.

Face coverings

As of July 19th, there will no longer be a mandatory requirement to wear face coverings, either front of house or back of house. Whilst, the UK Government “expects and recommends” that people continue to wear a face-covering in crowded, enclosed spaces, there is no longer a requirement for businesses to mandate this.

However, we would urge that you emphasise that they can be worn by personal choice, and we would suggest that you encourage the use of face coverings in especially crowded and enclosed environments.

You might still consider continuing with mandatory face coverings for staff and volunteers if you feel that would reassure them and/or customers. We do not believe it will be practical to make it mandatory for customers.

Social distancing

As of July 19th there is no longer a requirement to adopt social distancing measures – and no requirement therefore to limit the number of people in shops. However, we would advise adopting a sensible approach to prevent overcrowding and very crushed environments, and possibly creating some signage to that effect.


We would advise the continued use of hand sanitiser, till screens and other PPE that you may have available (but see above for face coverings).


Our previous guidance on ventilation has not changed. Where possible businesses should take steps to increase the supply of fresh air to indoor spaces. This may involve keeping doors and windows open where possible.


Cleaning should continue to be undertaken more often than was the case before the pandemic. It is especially important to regularly clean surfaces that people touch a lot.

Fitting rooms

You are free to reopen changing rooms – but be aware that it would be strongly advisable to undertake enhanced cleaning of these and to keep the door or curtain open when not in use to increase airflow.

Risk assessments

You must ensure your Covid-19 risk assessments are up to date, whether or not you undertake any of the above relaxations. These should be shared with staff and volunteers in the normal way. In updating your risk assessments you should give particular consideration to those who are more vulnerable to Covid-19

Self Isolation

You need to continue to turn away any staff, volunteers or customers with Covid-19 symptoms. It also remains an offence to allow someone who you know is self-isolating to come to work.

Workplace outbreaks

If you are made aware of positive Covid-19 cases related to a particular shop, you should inform the local authority public health team for the shop. You should also immediately identify any close workplace contacts and ask them to self-isolate.


The Government has withdrawn guidance necessitating extensive customer signage in shops.

Further information

You can access the Government’s updated Covid Secure Guidance here.