Today marks the opening of non-essential retail along with hair and nail salons, outdoor bars and restaurants for table service, libraries and gyms, since having to close their doors for the third, and hopefully final, time on the 6th of January. Although it is a small step back to some form of normality, customers will still be required to shop alone or with household groups as we see these premises reopen.
To bolster the high street and encourage, safe numbers and social distancing, retailers will be allowed to open until 10 pm. There is also a new campaign calling for a 'Shop Out to Help Out' initiative that would operate similarly to the ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme in August last year. This campaign is designed to aid Britain's independent high street shops, many of which could not continue operating due to low online presence. According to The British Retail Consortium, it is estimated that non-essential retail stores lost around £22bn in sales in 2020 due to lockdown measures, as footfall declined by 40%.
Retailers now must have the relevant health and safety measures in place for opening to ensure customers and staff's safety. For example, controlling the number of customers who can safely shop at one time, using floor markings to control the flow of shoppers, encouraging contactless payments where possible and ensuring staff have access to handwashing facilities.
There are other ways in which you can add additional preventative methods into the retail environment. Here at Green Gift Cards, we are excited to launch our new gift card coating that helps protect against the spread of COVID-19.
The new coating, SafeTouch, is proven to inhibit the growth of the virus by up to 99%. SafeTouch uses silver ion technology, which is already used in medical, food and water applications safely and has been thoroughly tested to ISO standards. More specifically, ISO 21702 and ISO 18184, for both porous and non-porous substrates –meaning it works on both our coated and non-coated gift cards. What's more, the effectiveness lasts for the lifetime of the product that it is added to.
The gift card coating is exclusive to us at Green Gift Cards and can be recycled effectively, which falls nicely in line with what we're trying to achieve in reducing the amount of plastic on our planet.
How does it work?
SafeTouch binds itself to the cell wall of the product, which disrupts any virus growth. The silver ions then interfere with the virus enzyme production, which stops it from producing any energy. It then interrupts the cell's DNA so it can't replicate. Thus, preventing the virus from spreading.
It has been ISO tested by independent labs for both non-porous and porous surfaces and shows over 99% reduction of SARS-CoV 2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in 4 hours for a porous substrate and 24 hours for a non-porous substrate*. Our Invercote paperboard from Iggesund comes in both uncoated and coated finishes means SafeTouch is effective on both substrates.
Graham Lycett, Managing Director of Green Gift Cards, said, "This use of this technology is important not only for Green Gift Cards but for the retail industry as a whole. We're all in this together, and the fight to slow down and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19 is one of humanity's biggest challenges today. We're delighted to be able to offer this thoroughly tested and officially approved antibacterial and antimicrobial coating to complement our environmentally friendly cards. If you think about how many times a gift, loyalty or membership card gets handled, being passed from one person to the next, it's the perfect vehicle to spread viruses. This latest development is another small contribution, but I believe if we all play our part, collectively we can have a positive impact."
If you'd like to know more about SafeTouch for your gift cards and prices, please get in touch or give us a call on 01794 725 454.
*Results show the efficacy of SafeTouch protected products only. It does not guarantee protection to the user or others against viruses.