Keeping shoppers safe and sound in Plymouth
Shoppers are being welcomed back to the high street from Monday and are being asked to support local retailers as they reopen with measures in place to keep them safe.
The Council has been working with the City Centre Company, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, transport operators and businesses on measures to make people feel as safe as possible as more non-essential shops open their doors. To make sure re-opening of the high street is safe for the public shops have been required to carry out risk assessments before re-opening. They’ve also had to think about arrangements to manage their premises and possible queues outside.
People are being advised to wear a face covering if they go somewhere where social distancing might be difficult – and from Monday 15 June they are now compulsory on public transport.
City Centre Manager Steve Hughes said: “We are making the city centre as safe as it can be. We have put in safety measures and are asking people to be sensible, follow the guidance and any requests that staff in our shops are asking of them.
“We want to welcome people back, but only when they feel safe and comfortable. These shops are staffed by Plymouth people all making a living. More than ever, it is vital that we support them - it’s helping Plymouth and your friends and neighbours to keep bills paid and food on the table.”
Big changes have been made in city centre car parks, with the end of cash payments to prevent the spread of potential infection from coins and notes. Machines in the multi storeys now take credit or debit card only, while in other car parks and on-street, people are being encouraged to pay by RingGo, via the mobile phone app, website or by phone (there is currently a cash option but this being phased out over the coming weeks). There are safe distancing markers around pay facilities, separate staircases designated up and down and an enhanced cleaning regime.
Plymouth Market will reopen from June 15 and is expecting around half of its traders back - but with no cafés or nail bars. There will be a limit on the number of customers allowed in at any one time, although this will be kept under review. The entrances at New George St and Cornwall St will be closed for now and people will have to go in and out via Market Ave and the car park entrances. It will open from 9am to 4.30pm.
Drake Circus is expecting more shops to open from June 15 and to help keep social distancing, will be limiting the number of visitors to the centre. Shoppers may need to wait in a queue outside. There will also be a one-way, ‘keep right’ system to direct shoppers around the centre, as well as allocating specific ‘in’ or ‘exit’ only entrances. Some stores will be trialling a ‘traffic light’ system which uses red and green signals to indicate if visitors are able to enter or not, depending on capacity.
Enhanced hygiene and cleaning regimes are in place, with hand sanitising stations at all of the Drake Circus’s entrances and exits, as well as on key touchpoints. For more details and to find out which stores are opening in the mall visit Drake Circus
Outside on the pavements and lampposts throughout the city centre and waterfront are signs reminding people to keep their distance and there are extra patrols by PARC officers and the police to offer reassurance and a friendly presence.
The main Armada Way toilets remain closed but the single cubicle toilets near the Sundial are open and will be subject to an enhanced cleansing regime. The toilets opposite the Tourist Information Centre on the Barbican are also open. The street cleansing team will be paying particular attention to bins and seats and the wooden play area figures have been removed.
We are compiling a list of shops that are expected to open but not all shops will open on Monday as they continue to make sure they are ready to open safely. Some stores will operate different opening and closing times to begin with. House of Fraser for instance will open on Tuesday at 10am.