City shoppers urged to keep to the left as high streets prepares to re-open
- Credit: Archant
Prepare to start treating the city centre like the road and keep to the left.
This is the message as more shops and businesses on the city high street get ready to open their doors at the beginning of next week, with coronavirus-related closures being lifted.
However, while shoppers can prepare to visit their favourite stores once more, they have been told to expect a different city environment altogether, compared with how it once was.
And ahead of this date, Stefan Gurney, executive director of the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) has lifted the lid on some of the ways businesses are being helped to adjust - and the differences shoppers will see.
So far the BID has distributed some 10,000 floor vinyls to more than 300 different businesses to help mark out socially-distances queueing systems, while it is also preparing free physical distancing resource packs.
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These consist of footprint markers, arrows and a checklist setting our requirements and guidelines for safe opening.
And for shoppers, Mr Gurney had this advice: treat the city streets as if you are using a road.
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He said: “The approach we’re taking is to suggest people apply the same things they apply when they are driving to when they are walking around the city. That is, keep to the left, remember your distance and only overtake when there is ample room to do so.
“We have worked with the city, the county and the police and come up with his message of staying to the left. If everybody is heading in the same direction it is easier for everyone to keep apart.
“What we want most is to give people the confidence to come back into the city and make it safe and welcoming.”
Across the city, already stencils have been painted onto pavements reminding people of social distancing and setting out one way systems for pedestrians along certain places - stencils painted on by Norfolk County Council.
It comes after the city council also revealed it is hoping to pedestrianise certain streets - including St Benedicts and Magdalen Street - to make it easier for people to observe social distancing and to allow restaurants and bars extra space for outdoor seating.