In the light of developments during the first week of England’s lockdown, the National Institute of Carpet & Floorlayers (NICF) believes that while domestic floor laying can continue, most of the retail supply chain should be closed.

The trade element of retail flooring shops and showrooms is key to the ability of domestic floor layers to continue to perform their role and it occupies an important position in serving the supply chain.

However, whilst we have seen no firm statements from Government as yet, pressure seems to mounting that the consumer-facing elements of these businesses should be considered as ‘homeware’ and should not continue to trade. A number of the larger multiple retailers, who initially stated their intention to remain open, have now closed their doors, while retaining ‘click and collect’ type operations for retail customers and 1-to1 appointments for the trade.

As we publish this update, carpet and flooring shops are still not explicitly named on either the list of retailers that must close, or those that are exempt. But the official guidance includes the following statement:

“Government cannot provide comments on individual cases of whether or not a business is permitted to open. It is for each business to assess whether they are a business required to close having considered the guidance and Regulations.”

Carpet fitting in private homes can continue during the lockdown. It is of course important that all tradespeople adhere to safe working practices, including social distancing. In this regard, the guidelines contained on the Trustmark Work Safe, Safe Work website are very useful. These were developed to give practical advice to homeowners about what COVID-safety measures should be discussed and carried out before, during and after work is done in and around their home.
The full official guidance can be found on the Government website at: