The Sheffield Assay Office has announced it will re-open in order to “provide safe support for valued customers”.
From tomorrow (21 April), the office will offer a restricted service every Tuesday at its premises in Hillsbrough, Sheffield.
Both its hallmarking and analytical services will now be available to customers once a week, with the “aim of being able to offer much needed services to customers working hard to maintain their own businesses”.
In order to operate, the assay office has reorganised its working environment to enable a small number of staff to “provide sought after services in an entirely safe way”.
Assay master and chief executive, Ashley Carson, said: “We greatly value our customers and want to support them as much as possible during the enforced lockdown.
“We have worked hard to rearrange things internally so that we can work well within the safe working guidelines and advice provided by the government, and want to stress that the safety of our staff and customers is our first priority.”
He added: “Due to the very small number of items requiring processing at this time, it is essential that we effectively balance the needs of our customers with our commitment to both our furloughed and non-furloughed staff.
“As such we have taken the decision to close our customer counter – except to those customers who have made a prior appointment – and from 21 April 2020 we will now only be open on Tuesday’s each week.”
A further decision will be made on the full opening of the office on or before Monday 4 May 2020.
Carson confirmed that “very strict” social distancing measures will be enforced for visitors to the counter, and that turnaround times may be longer than normal but hopes customers will be happy to make allowances in the circumstances.
Parcels can now only be accepted from Royal Mail and the office’s security service has been temporarily suspended. As an additional safety measure, payments will now only be accepted by card.