Shoppers and retailers are being reminded to adhere to social distancing rules to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

While people must stay at home as much as possible to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, they are permitted to leave the house to shop for essential supplies such as food and medicine, as long as it is as infrequently as possible. 

When out in public, shoppers must stay 2 metres – or 6 feet – away from other people at all times. This is the distance the virus can be carried through the air before it lands. It is important to keep this distance at all times because people can spread the virus even if they do not have symptoms. 

To enable shoppers to keep their distance, retailers which have been permitted to remain open – including supermarkets and corner shops – have been encouraged to place limits on how many people can be in store at any one time and to ask customers to stand 2 metres apart when in store and whilst queuing. 

Please be patient and cooperate with these measures which are for the safety of both staff and customers.

In addition, where possible, customers are encouraged to pay using contactless to reduce the amount of cash being handled by staff. 

The City of Wolverhampton Council has produced a poster for shops and businesses to print off and display, advising staff and customers of social distancing measures in operation on the premises. 

John Denley, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Public Health, said: "By reducing our day to day contact with other people, we reduce the chance of coronavirus spreading, and that is why we all need to follow the Government's social distancing measures.

"The vast majority of residents and retailers, including our city's network of corner shops which are providing an essential service to so many people at this time, are following this guidance correctly.

“Many are operating a ‘one in, one out’ policy to keep the number of shoppers inside to a manageable level, and customers are queuing safely outside at least 2 metres apart while they wait for their turn to go in.

"It is vitally important that everybody follows these measures if they are to be effective, and I now call on all retailers to ensure they have put the necessary procedures in place to protect their customers and staff from coronavirus."

The social distancing measures include people staying at home except for very limited purposes, the closure of non essential shops and community spaces and preventing gatherings of more than 2 people in public, except for members of the same household. 

These measures should be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for people or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at NHS - Advice for everyone.