Pet and aquatic shops can still sell fish following Monday’s government guidance on the sale of ‘essential’ items, the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association says.
OATA was seeking to clarify the situation regarding fish sales, as originally it believed that livestock sales were banned as non-essential items. However, its guidance to members now says: “The Government has not published any advice on this. So the decision on whether or not to sell fish is yours providing you can do it within the social distancing rules, which are that retail and public premises that expect to remain open must:
* Ensure a distance of two metres 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.
The association added: “It is up to each individual business as to whether to stay open to the public.
“You know your personal circumstances and those of your staff and how practical it is to stay operating some kind of service within your premises to enable your customers to get essential supplies for their animals, like food and medicines/treatments or replacement kit that has broken down.
“If you decide to close to the public totally we believe you can still travel to your shop to look after the animals under your care. You should carry some kind of proof of where you work to explain to officials should you be asked.”
Other advice it was offering included to follow Gov.UK guidance on safeguarding staff and customers, such as queue control, social distancing measures and contactless payments.
It also suggested instigating a click-and-collect system, and home deliveries where these are not already in place.
Websites should be kept up to date with information about availability of essential items that can be bought, and OATA suggests limiting these to essential items such as food, medicines/treatments and replacement equipment for items that have broken down.