How does the Corona Virus affect AJ’s and you?


After Bois announced a very slight easing and new campaign to take us out of lockdown last Sunday, it has lead to a lot of confusing mis-conceptions of what is and isn’t allowed now. There are two things that was easy to understand: No we are not out of lockdown & you are now allowed to travel for the purpose of exercise only.

So a group of business owners and I taken it upon ourselves to dive deep into the Coronavirus Laws 2020, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and the new do’s and don’t document released on the back end of the new governments Stay Alert campaign and phased exit strategy.

What does this mean?

For me and other businesses alike, we are now allowed to invite our workforce back into the work place but as outlined in the do’s and don’ts, non-essential retail and trades people are still not allowed to enter a domestic property that isn’t their primary place of residents, also non-essential travel still isn’t permitted. Bare in mind these laws are based in England. If you are in Wales or Scotland, the laws are even stricter.

If I was to make deliveries. My business sector isn’t listed in Schedule 2 Part 3 of the The Heath Protection laws which means I can be fined up to £3200 and even shut down if found to be delivering as it will be in breach of paragraph 4,5&6 of the health act 2020. Not great news I know.

When can I have my furniture?

According to the laws and the time frame outlined in the governments phased plan, no earlier than the 1st of June may businesses not listed in Schedule 2 Part 3 may resume normal operation but within the social distancing guidelines. So I can start to look at booking these dates from the 1st on wards. There are a lot of you waiting so I can’t deliver to you all on the 1st sorry.

I have hired a full time driver so things will move quickly on that front. I will be providing dates towards the end of the month for those that are very much due or overdue a delivery.

It also stands to say that if you are in Wales or Scotland, the laws are different and we don’t yet know when we are allowed to cross your borders. Ill advise when more information from your specific government is released.

Will delivery be safe if they can reopen on the 1st of June?

Social distancing is impossible in my trade. As you know for the larger furniture I don’t charge for a one man delivery and a member of your house will be required to help with the larger, heavier & bulky items. This is a risk to you and us.

What we can do is PPE up. Wearing gloves is only safe if you take them off and replace with a new pair every few minutes, touching one item and then another with the same surgical gloves just cross contaminates the second item. Plus you can’t carry heavy items wearing surgical gloves. So we will can only wear fabric PPE gloves that have a special coating to allow a good grip. The driver will be wearing these upon and throughout delivery. He will remove them after the drop and put on a fresh pair when he gets to the next drop. You will also be asked to use hand sanitiser before handling the furniture.

Masks will be worn by the driver whenever they are outside of the vehicle. You will also be required to wear a mask when helping the driver with the bulky items as you will more than likely be within 2 meters of each other. If you don’t have a mask the driver has a stock of single use disposable masks and will happily provide you with one. You will be asked to dispose of this mask so we are not carrying potential contaminated waste on our travels.

All members of the same household other than the one helping will be kindly asked if they wouldn’t mind moving to another room whilst the delivery and assembly is taking place.

We will no longer be asking you to sign the delivery note. In stead a series of photos will be taken. The front of your house and front door and then once the furniture is in place inside. This is to satisfy the payment card company if they ask us to prove that we are providing what we are taking payments for.

Both parties have the legal right to refuse making or accepting a delivery into their home if they feel it is unsafe to do so. Further more it is also your responsibility to alert us beforehand with 24 hours notice, if any member of your household has contracted the virus and you are still within the 14 day quarantine period. If this is the case, we will be happy to deliver your furniture after your quarantine period when it is safe to do so. We cannot make any delivery to a household currently in quarantine.

Can I collect my furniture?

I have been asked this a few times recently and with it only being me working in the workshop and the public not allowed into the workshop, you would have had to load the furniture yourself and as you will be self assembling and transporting the furniture, the guarantee would become invalid.

However, over the next work or so, I will be putting into place a collection area out of the workshop. My staff can place your furniture in the collection area a few minutes before you arrival and will step back. You will still be asked to load the furniture alone unless you can show you have the correct PPE to wear whilst we help. We will require a photo of the loaded furniture along with the number plate of the vehicle, again just to satisfy the card company if they ask us prove we have supplied the furniture.

A limited guarantee will be offered to anyone collecting, which will only exclude protection from damage in transport and damage caused by incorrect assembly.

I will be also putting together a few videos on how to safely and correctly assemble the furniture. For the tables this is easy enough there is just a knack to getting the legs on correctly. If you do collect ill email you links to the videos in advance.

Once this is an option a further email will be sent out asking if anyone would like to collect, along with an online booking system. This will not be available for complicated items of furniture like our club house beds.

What happens now?

This coming Monday, I have invited 2 members of the workforce back in to my workshop for full time work. I will also be hiring a new senior joiner to replace the job of my friend that sadly passed away. One member will have to remain at home until the schools reopen. This does mean that crafting can continue at a faster rate.

I will be sending out dates at weekly intervals to all customers that are awaiting deliveries. The first set will be sent later this month.

It has been a challenging time for everyone. Not just my business or customers but everyone across the world. Sadly the end is far far away. We will do our best to continue to provide and produce our furniture, as quickly as time will allow but most importantly, as safely as we can, as that is what is more important than anything right now.

Stay Safe all.

Update published: 16/05/2020

My family and I wish you all good health, stay safe and look after each other!