Spelthorne Borough Council is making preparations to ensure the safe reopening of our high streets across the Borough for residents to shop for necessary items

Shop smart

Spelthorne Borough Council is making preparations to ensure the safe reopening of our high streets across the Borough for residents to shop for necessary items.

The Government announced that high streets and town centres can reopen from 15 June and the Council is working with businesses and various partners, including the Elmsleigh Centre, Two Rivers and Visit Staines, to ensure that measures are in place to make them safe for residents, visitors and traders.

From Monday 15 June, people will be able to visit non-essential retail outlets such as clothing stores and charity shops, providing they can meet COVID-19 safety and security guidelines. We will, however, stress that residents should only come to our high streets to purchase necessary items.

The Council, which has had funds made available to them from central government, are producing comprehensive signage for shops and in our car parks, reminding people of the social distancing measures that are in place. This is being done to ensure that residents and visitors can continue to observe the social distancing guidelines.

We have been working with Staines Market to ensure they can operate in a manner that is safe for residents. The market will now be on one side of the high street to ensure social distancing measures can be observed and the busier stalls will not be directly in front of high traffic shops, where long queues are likely.

We will also be installing a handwashing station on Staines High Street - this is currently planned to be near the Natwest Bank but may be subject to change as more market stalls open up.

All measures will be revised and amended accordingly with additional phases introduced in due course.

Cllr Olivia Rybinski, Deputy Leader and Finance Portfolio Holder of Spelthorne Borough Council, said: "It is fantastic news that more businesses can reopen but the safety of their employees and customers must be their first priority.

"We are grateful for the additional funding from central government and we will be using those funds on measures to ensure our residents, employees and visitors can be confident it is safe to return.

"I would like to stress to residents that, while more shops are now set open, you should only go to our high streets to purchase necessary items - it should not be seen as a day out. I would also advise you to reach shops under your own steam by walking or cycling to the high street. If you need to use public transport, you will need to wear a face covering as per the laws coming into effect. You must, of course, maintain social distancing protocols."

Over the course of this pandemic, the Council have worked to support businesses by issuing government backed business grants (930 have been paid out, totalling £12.22million), offering guidance to traders changing the way they do business and providing hygiene and environmental health advice to help takeaways improve and we will continue to do so as we enter the next recovery phases.

How you can help reduce the risk when out shopping

  • plan ahead
  • make a list
  • allow extra time
  • stay apart
  • avoid crowds
  • treat staff with kindness