Published: Tuesday, 9th June 2020
From 15 June 2020, the Government is relaxing lockdown rules to allow non-essential retailers to open their doors if they can demonstrate that they are Covid secure.
Retailers across west Norfolk are busy making the necessary changes to their premises to be able to welcome back customers into their stores in accordance with the Government guidance.
The Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk has been working with its partners Norfolk County Council Highways, Discover King's Lynn (The King's Lynn BID) and the Vancouver Quarter to help support local retailers.
Walk rounds have taken place in King's Lynn, Hunstanton and Downham Market to ensure that pinch points have been identified. Measures are now being looked at to help mitigate any risks. These might involve pavement widening using barriers, floor stickers and one way systems. This has already involved relocating the market in King's Lynn back to the Tuesday Market Place and removing some planters. The situation with street furniture will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
Hospitality premises, hairdressers, beauty salons, theatres and cinemas remain closed at this time awaiting further guidance from Government. Please check before travelling that the businesses you wish to visit are open.
Cllr Graham Middleton, Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for Business Development, said: "Retailers are working hard to ensure their premises are Covid Secure so that they can offer customers a safe shopping environment. They are looking forward to welcoming customers old and new. It is vital for the local economy that people support our local businesses if they can.
"We are asking people to think ahead before they travel to:
- ensure they avoid the busiest times between 10am and 1pm - take advantage of the extended opening hours that some shops are offering
- bring hand sanitiser, tissues and face coverings with them,
- prepare to pay with contactless methods if at all possible, this includes using the cashless parking app
"We also ask that people come prepared to queue, or to walk round the block a second time to avoid queuing across neighbouring stores or blocking the paths or highways, to follow the social distancing guidelines and to listen to instructions from staff in various shops. We are also asking people to keep left as they walk round the main shopping areas. Signage and floor stickers will be in place to remind people.
"We, along with retailers are putting these measures in place to protect us all, so please be patient and respectful as it will take some time for new arrangements to bed in and be monitored and adjusted in line with changes to guidance."
In addition to the above, the council is producing a pack of posters for retailers to print. These will be available via the website west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus.
In the King's Lynn BID area, Discover King's Lynn have a range of support available for its levy payers.
Vicky Etheridge, BID Manager said: "We're providing a free package of signs and floor stickers for KL BID levy payers to use in their premises. We are also putting on webinars for each sector to help draw up a risk assessment for their business and make sure that they are COVID safe and ready to reopen.
"The webinars are specific to retail, hospitality, hair and beauty and draw on Government guidance and best practice.
"We want to support our businesses through this difficult time, and at the same time encourage shoppers into the town by demonstrating that we have done everything we can to make the area Covid secure. We are now asking people planning to come back into town from 15 June to follow the guidance and respect the advice being given."
Forthcoming dates for webinars for BID levy payers are:
- Wednesday 10 June at 10.00 - hair & beauty
- Thursday 18 June, 10.00- hospitality
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
An information pack along with a recording of each webinar will be available for people who can't attend or who want to listen again. Information will be sent out through the Discover King's Lynn mailing list.
In the Vancouver Quarter, some street furniture has already been temporarily removed and signage will be in place to help people move safely around the area. The Vancouver Quarter Manager has been working with retailers to ensure that they have what they need in place to open.
Alistair Cox, Vancouver Quarter Manager, said: “Our preparations for the reopening are well underway. Shopping safely, providing social distancing guidance and ensuring our centre is Covid-secure is an essential part of the careful but deliberate steps that will help shoppers feel safe and welcome.
"We all are adapting to the new normal and we ask shoppers to appreciate that the measures being put in place are to keep everyone safe .”
Stay Alert - Control the Virus - Save Lives.
Protect yourself, protect others.
The Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, Norfolk County Council, Discover King's Lynn and Vancouver Quarter working together to responsibly support the Covid-19 Recovery Strategy.