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How the new normal will look as shops reopen in King’s Lynn

PUBLISHED: 12:27 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:40 09 June 2020

Traders hope shoppers will return as lockdown measures are eased Picture: Kristina McArthur

Traders hope shoppers will return as lockdown measures are eased Picture: Kristina McArthur

Kristina McArthur, Borough Council of King's Lynn.

A town centre is preparing to welcome back the shoppers as lockdown eases.

Closed signs have appeared in most shops in the centre of King's Lynn  Picture: Chris Bishop Closed signs have appeared in most shops in the centre of King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

So-called non-essential shops can reopen from Monday after almost three months of lockdown, as long as staff and customers will be safe.

In King’s Lynn, precautions include pavement widening using barriers, floor stickers and one way systems to ensure social distancing.

Market stalls have also been relocated from the pedestrianised town centre to the Tuesday Market Place, to free up extra space.

MORE - Customers return as Artertons’ reopens

Graham Middleton, West Norfolk council’s cabinet member for business, 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.”

The streets of King's Lynn have been almost deserted during lockdown  Picture: Emily ThomsonThe streets of King's Lynn have been almost deserted during lockdown Picture: Emily Thomson

Mr Middleton said shoppers should think ahead and try to avoid the busiest times between 10am and 1pm.

They should also bring hand sanitiser, tissues and face coverings with them and be prepared to prepare to pay with contactless methods, including the council’s cashless parking app.

Mr Middleton added: “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 ares. 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.”

Amanda Arterton, who wears a visor to serve customers after reopening her furniture shop in King's Lynn  Picture: Chris BishopAmanda Arterton, who wears a visor to serve customers after reopening her furniture shop in King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

Hospitality premises, hairdressers, beauty salons, theatres and cinemas remain closed at this time awaiting further guidance from Government.

MORE - Some pubs could reopen this month

Discover King’s Lynn, the town’s business improvement district (BID), is supporting traders preparing to reopen.

BID manager Vicky Etheridge 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.

“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 June 15 to follow the guidance and respect the advice being given.”

So-called non-essential shops can reopen from Monday Picture: Chris BishopSo-called non-essential shops can reopen from Monday Picture: Chris Bishop

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Alistair Cox, Vancouver Quarter manager, said: “Our preparations for the reopening are well under way. 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 .”

Forthcoming dates for webinars for BID levy payers are:

- Wednesday 10 June at 10.00 - hair & beauty,

- Thursday 18 June, 10.00- hospitality.

E-mail info@discoverkingslynn.com to book a place.


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