Shop local, shop safe says Basildon Council in support of borough’s high streets

Basildon Council is encouraging people to shop local and shop safe as customers return to support High Street businesses this summer as part of the new phase of our COVID-19 response.

From today the council is supporting new ways of shopping, designed to look out for the wellbeing of shoppers during the reopening of our high street retailers.

Basildon Council leader, Councillor Gavin Callaghan is highlighting how important it is to remain safe while supporting our local economy and retailers – while also embracing the best of Basildon.

“I’ve held serval rounds of consultation with retailers in recent weeks – and we are committed to helping businesses and public transition to this new way of shopping. In our meetings many retailers have said to me that customers have been understanding and kind during the click-and-collect only phase of lockdown and that’s been really encouraging,” Cllr Callaghan said.

“We are all new at navigating through this pandemic and I know that retailers are working hard and trying their best to restart their businesses in a safe way. As we support retailers more in person again, understanding, patience and simple kindness can help as we all learn how to operate in this changed world.”

The changes include new marking and signage for shopping areas, with support from teams of council staff to help shoppers navigate changes in pedestrian flows and queuing in particular. The council is also working with businesses to help them get prepared to be COVID-19 safe during reopening and shops will look different to meet the guidelines when they reopen.

There will be limits on the number of customers in each shop, with markings inside and outside the shops, queueing systems and some stores will have protection panels. You may be asked to use contactless payments wherever possible to avoid needing to exchange cash. And as a thread through our new normal we’re asking people to please be kind as we come back into socially distanced contact on a regular basis.

That’s why the Shop Local Shop Safe campaign is asking everyone to follow five simple points to make High Streets safe and easy for everyone to navigate:

  • 1) Maintain social distancing
  • 2) Be patient when queueing
  • 3) Avoid shopping at peak times
  • 4) Keep your hands as clean as possible
  • 5) If you can, wear a face mask

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]