South Holland car showrooms get ready for the green light of face-to-face sales on June 1
Car dealerships in South Holland are gearing up for a steady return of customers through their doors from Monday, June 1.
Social distancing and personal hygiene, including hand sanitizers, will be in place at motor vehicle showrooms following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday that they can reopen to the public.
In his speech, Boris Johnson described car showrooms as having "significant outdoor space where it is generally easier to apply social distancing", allowing dealerships to revert back to face-to-face negotiating with customers as they look to buy a new car.
Paul Watkin-Groves, of EMG Spalding based in Pinchbeck, said: "We're pleased with the announcement and pleased that things can return to some semblance of normality.
"We're getting our integral sales force back slowly, as and when we feel is right, making sure that it's safe for staff members and customers alike.
"We've placed two-metre markings on the showroom floors, sanitizer gels are in place, anti-bacterial surface sprays and hand sanitizers for every single staff member and customer.
"Also, we're restricting customer numbers in the showroom, with one-hour appointments and fixed time slots where possible.
"We'll be doing test drives, but one person will drive and they'll be accompanied by a salesperson in the car who'll be wearing personal protective equipment and gloves."
John Cooper, who runs Leesons of Sutton Bridge, said: "As a Ford dealer, we're very lucky to have been given guidelines that we have to follow.
"We have a list of recommendations, including measuring the temperatures of our staff, social distancing and a one-way system in the showroom.
"If there's a stage where we had more people in the showroom than we can take, we'd have to limit the numbers and with a bit of luck, we'll get back
"But with the social distancing, I don't perceive it to be a problem and, with a bit of luck, we'll be back with our feet on the ground."
Adam Brand, of W.H. Brand in Whaplode Drove, said: "We have been following government guidelines to ensure we have the correct measures in place to keep all staff and customers safe.
"These include screens at all desks, sanitising stations, signage and floor markings to meet social distancing criteria and demonstrators which will be sanitised after every test drive.
"Staff measures are also in place to ensure safe working distances are kept and tools and equipment are sanitised regularly."
Jordan Crowson, from Crowsons of Spalding, said: "Our main showroom will be reopening from Monday for vehicle sales enquiries and handovers.
"All appointments will be carefully scheduled and full social distance measuring will continue from what we already have in place for our clients visiting the site for services, MOTs and repairs.
"We have the two-metre distance spacing, as well as hand sanitizer, protection for client vehicles and all of our courtesy car fleet is in place to comply with government requirements."