Instrument Handling Policy

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Howarth of London has a responsibility to all our customers and staff to prevent the risk of transmission through handling and using musical instruments.

  • All instruments coming into the shop must be pulled through and dry inside the bore before they are brought to us.
  • All instruments will be quarantined for 72 hours from the point of arrival and clearly labelled and marked with a red sticker to record the date and time received.
  • We will also treat smaller instruments with UV light as part of this process when deemed appropriate, but we consider that putting the instrument through a quarantine period is the most effective method of limiting transmission.

Safety marking of instruments

After this time, instruments will be marked with a green sticker and will be available to be handled. After handling, all instruments will be disinfected with suitable disinfectant wipes on the outside surfaces.

If the instrument needs to be play tested for any reason, it will be mopped out to dry the inside by the person who played it with their designated pull through, which will be washed each evening.

The keywork and body will be wiped over with a disinfectant wipe and the instrument will be re-labelled with a new red sticker with the details of who tested it along with the date and time. A new quarantine period will be started to ensure that, as far as practically possible, the instrument is free from contamination. It is then free to be returned to a customer or tried by someone else or another member of staff.

Emergency repairs

We regret that at present we are unable to carry out on the spot and emergency repairs under our current quarantine procedure.


We will treat and handle instruments and accessories in such a way that, if COVID-19 is present, it is removed on arrival at our premises and is not (re-)introduced onto them prior to their being sold / sent to customers.

We will minimise the risk of staff bringing COVID-19 onto the premises and thereby unwittingly transmitting it to other staff, the shop premises, retail stock and our customers.

Last updated:5 January 2021



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