Earlier this week, it was confirmed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that non-essential shops, as well as hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality, can reopen from April 12 in England. This follows the easement of lockdown restrictions that began on the 29 March, which saw the end of the nation’s stay-at-home rule and a return to the rule of six.
We are pleased that the majority of our fantastic tenants will be able to reopen in full next Monday in line with government guidelines. Although this is fantastic news for the retail sector, the Prime Minister has advised the public to tread cautiously by adhering to social distancing rules, wearing masks when necessary and maintaining thorough hand hygiene.
From next week, the second stage of England’s lockdown relaxation will enable many businesses to reopen for the first time in three months. This will include non-essential shops, hairdressers, nail salons and gyms, while bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers outdoors – but groups will be limited to two households or by the rule of six.
Self-contained lodging, such as campsites and holiday rentals, will also be allowed to accept visitors. Independent or household visits to libraries, community centres, zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will also be allowed.
“It’s a cautious but, we hope, irreversible path, and the effectiveness of the vaccine gives me increased confidence that we are going to be able to walk down that road as set out in the roadmap and we can see that the vaccines are making people safe and saving lives.”
– Matt Hancock, Health Secretary
What rules will shops follow?
In addition to the previously mentioned face mask and social distancing laws, shops and members of the public will need to follow the Government’s ‘COVID-secure’ measures. These outline the precise precautions people must take to help keep infections under control when stores reopen.
Under these rules, fitting rooms will remain closed, large families will be restricted and customers will be urged to pay using a cashless method where possible. Similar to the measures seen in supermarkets during the crisis, one-way systems and barriers will also be put in place enabling customers to shop whilst retaining a safe distance from one another.
Hygiene is of paramount importance in preventing the spread of the virus, therefore upon arrival, shoppers will be asked to sanitise their hands and will be told to only handle products they wish to purchase. Posters, signage and visual aids will be placed on shop windows and doors to clearly outline the current rules and steps.
Our tenants at The Pantiles, Peterborough One Retail Park and Salle Moor Hall Farm are getting ready to reopen their services and welcome you again on Monday 12 April. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has kept essential stores open and those who’ve maintained the high standard of cleanliness at our commercial destinations during lockdown.
As retail reopens, our asset managers are working hard with each tenant to make sure the centre is clean and safe. The safety measures in place will ensure that we can all shop smart and shop safe.