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Customer Health and Safety Measures

Making sure customers feel safe at your operation is essential to your business success. You can communicate how you will do this through your website, advertising and social media or signage once they arrive at your business.

  • Communicate what your operation is doing relative to COVID 19 and the changes  your customers should expect through social media, website, signage, and other means.
    • Share your plans for disinfection, social distancing, and employee use of face coverings
    • Clearly state hours of operation and any alternative sales methods (online ordering, curbside pickup, etc.)
  • Cloth face coverings for customers are required:
    • In NYS, anyone over age 2 who can medically tolerate a cloth face covering must cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain social distance
    • Will you provide face coverings for customers if needed?  Will you turn away customers if they do not have face coverings? Decide in advance what your policies will be, and clearly communicate them.
  • Customer flow
    • As much as possible, create one-way flow patterns around the operation, particularly where interaction of people going opposite directions is likely (for example, entry/exit)
    • Post signage or a map of the operation showing where different products are to make shopping faster for customers
    • Use things like moveable benches and tape/paint directions on floors to show the flow pattern
    • Remove or rearrange as many tables/benches as possible to allow customers to stay 6 feet apart, while still providing easy access to product
    • Determine if you will restrict public access to certain parts of the operation
      • This could include restrooms, production areas, etc.
    • Plan for extra employee time to manage customer flow

Schematic drawing of a bird's-eye-view of a greenhouse, showing a one-way flow of foot traffic.

  • Limit the number of customers allowed in operation at one time, based on the size and layout of your operation, so that social distancing can be maintained.
    • The number of people might be based on the number of aisles in the operation, how long/wide they are relative to the 6 foot distance requirement, the size of spaces where customers congregate, etc.
    • Your plan should include customers who are waiting to enter. Should they stay in their cars, can you label 6 foot spacing in outdoor waiting areas, etc.
    • Can you have shopping times by appointment?
    • Would you have specific hours for customers most vulnerable to infection? If so, how will you enforce?
    • If visitors are allowed in your production areas, consider allowing them in only by appointment or explain the distancing/face covering/sanitation requirements for their visits
    • Even if sales are outdoor, the 6 foot distancing rule still applies.  Encourage customers not to gather or linger in any area.
  • Post health and hygiene signage (see Resources for printable signage)
    • On entry doors
    • Throughout public areas
    • At restrooms
    • At checkout
  • Provide hand sanitizing materials at entry and exit, at checkout, and any other place that surfaces may be frequently contacted (cart areas, etc.)
  • Check out
    • Use contactless payment methods (credit cards, tap to pay, electronic payments) or checks to limit handling cash.
    • Sanitize payment machines, pens, check out surfaces frequently
  • Mark 6 foot spacing at check out or other places that customers might gather. Install barriers or ‘sneeze guards’ to protect employees at check out. Evaluate how to limit employee and customer interaction when placing product at the checkout bench/table.
  • Have clearly designated areas – and procedures - for pick-up
  • Cancel/postpone any activities or events that involve groups of people at or in your operation
  • Provide boxes, etc. to prevent use of reusable bags/boxes/totes brought in by customers
  • Information on alternatives to opening retail operations is available in Resources

For Landscape Operations

Interior of a gardening store, showing a prominent sign that says "Please stay to the right", and pointing to the right. Yellow arrows on the floor show the direction of foot traffic.