We all miss having you, our loyal and valued customers, to catch up with and help face-to-face. We continue helping you through the telephone and messaging tools. The ultimate question that we all wonder is – when will vape shops open again? When will they return to normal? Or will shopping on the high street be changed forever?
Why Did Vape Shops Have to Close for COVID-19?
There was an expectation in the vape industry that vape shops would be classed as essential business. Why? Because other countries in Europe had allowed electronic cigarette stores to remain open throughout the Coronavirus restrictions. They realised how important enabling vaping to continue is to help the health and wellbeing of the public.
The UK took a different approach and you can partly understand why. Vape shops, or certainly if our Bristol store is anything to go by, are popular hang out places for vapers. Also customers commonly expect to be able to test different kits and flavours before buying. With the Coronavirus being highly contagious, neither of these scenarios should be permitted or encouraged to protect our society. The vape world is full of everyday passionate startup businesses who decided to help people quit smoking for good. These people, whilst many are professional in approach, also do not necessarily have any understanding or scientific knowledge of the impacts their actions have on passing a contagious virus like COVID-19. Even now we hear that there are some vape shops who remain open illegally. The impact of this could literally cost many lives, not just for our vulnerable or elderly neighbours.
What Will Happen When Shops Are Allowed to Open Again?
We await the next Government announcement as to what measures will need to be taken to protect everybody from this virus. However it will certainly be a different shopping environment than it was before COVID-19 started. It is likely that many of the following may happen to help ensure your safety:
- shops will require only a restricted number of vapers into the shop at any time.
- queues may need to form outside the shops.
- previous testing options are unlikely to be allowed anymore.
- staff members are likely to protect you and themselves with face masks, gloves, and hygiene sanitisers.
- you are likely to be required to leave the premises immediately if you are showing signs or symptoms of Coronavirus.
- frequent cleaning will be undertaken on surfaces and entrances.
How Can You Protect Yourself Whilst Shopping?
We all know how urgent it can be when you accidentally burn out your last coil or drop you tank and the glass smashes. You may find yourself forced to go to your local vape shop for urgent supplies. To help protect yourself, staff other vaping customers and the general public, we recommend:
- wear a protective face mask such as the KN95 for preventing the virus particles passing through your mouth and nose.
- keep a minimum of 2 metres away from anybody else.
- our Bristol shop has a counter surrounding the floor of the shop – choose a different side to other customers to keep your social distance.
- continue to buy your vape supplies online, in advance, to prevent you from needing to go to the physical shops unnecessarily.
- the Government social media recommend that you ‘act like you have it’ to help prevent the spread of the virus. Don’t act foolhardy thinking you do not have any symptoms.
The Future of Vape Shops
We expect that the shopping culture will be changed until the public have been vaccinated from COVID-19. There may be further shop closures if the virus starts spreading at too high a rate for the NHS to cope with. When shops are allowed to be open again, we look forward to seeing our fellow vapers again and exchanging our survival stories from COVID-19 restrictions. Whatever the future holds, we are continuing to support you from a distance where we can, delivering your products to your door, and looking forward to when life returns to the new ‘normal’.
What Date Will Vape Shops Open Again?
Assuming COVID-19 remains at the expected level of cases, it is likely that some non-essential shops, including vape shops, may be allowed to open with restrictions in place in June 2020. It is unclear yet whether shopping centres will be allowed to open in the first relaxation phase, but the next update from the Government will confirm when exactly we can or can’t open our shop to the public.