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Next warehouses reopen with new coronavirus safety measures

Next has reopened its online store, having reorganised its warehouses to reduce the risk of employees being infected with COVID-19.

After closing its warehouses on 26 March, the retailer today (14 April) began shipping a limited number of items each day from its most in-demand categories, including childrenswear and small home items.

The number of workers in the warehouse will be limited to allow social distancing. Next said that once it had reached the number of orders it could safely ship each day it would shut down online sales and convert the store to browse-only until the following morning.

Next said it has used the time since it shut down its warehouses to implement new safety measures. These include a one-way system and the introduction of new walkways to make it safer for people to move around.

It also said it will make changes to where people work to ensure there is always two metres between people, while more stringent sanitisation rules will be implemented.

The company will monitor enforcement on the rules and has recommended staff use an anonymous whistleblowing helpline to report any breaches.

The company said it would ask staff who are willing and able to return to work, while those who are vulnerable, showing symptoms or reliant on public transport will not be asked to return.