Shop safe, stop Covid, prevent local outbreaks

13:54, Monday, 15th June 2020

Shoppers are being urged to stick to social distancing measures to avoid further Covid-19 outbreaks.

Retailers and other businesses across town centres have worked hard to ensure their premises are safe for customers and staff as non-essential shops begin to open their doors today.

North Lincolnshire Council has been working closely with business owners across Scunthorpe, Barton, Brigg, Ashby, Epworth and Crowle to offer support and guidance on the safety measures which need to be followed.

Social distancing signs and floor markings can be seen around the town centres asking people to stay safe and ‘leave space’. Funded by Government cash, digital display screens will soon be installed showing the latest information to visitors in the town centres.

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said:

“The community has responded admirably across the last three months, adhering to national measures designed to protect each of us, our families and our neighbours.

“We are all looking forward to some sense of normality however we must not forget that many of the measure in place to protect us remain.

“If we all stick to these rules we’ll be okay.  If we do not then we will not stop local outbreaks – nobody wants to see that happen.

“Since restrictions were put in place a lot of traders in Scunthorpe, along with many others across North Lincolnshire in Brigg, Barton and the Isle of Axholme have all done a brilliant job offering services in a different way to people in their community.

“The community response, from volunteers to businesses, has been fantastic and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has done their bit to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Now, as regulations are being relaxed and we are re-emerging to a new normal we need to focus on ensuring that people continue to follow the guidelines while supporting the economy to bounce back.

“Businesses and retailers have been working hard to put the right safety measures in place to keep their staff and customers safe. It has been an extremely challenging time for everyone, so I am encouraging people to shop local and back these businesses.

“A raft of support – and lots of Government cash – has been offered to businesses when they had to close or work differently to help them deal with the challenges the coronavirus outbreak presented. We are continuing to work with businesses to help them reopen safely in line with government guidelines.”

Penny Spring, Director of Public Health for North Lincolnshire is urging visitors, customers and staff in the town centres to follow social distancing measures and maintain good hand hygiene.  She said:

“There are consequences to peoples’ action. The number of new cases in North Lincolnshire has dropped but that does not mean the virus is not here. Nor does it mean that it cannot again begin to increase in the population.

“Everything we do has an impact and we all have a responsibility to stop Covid-19 and prevent local outbreaks.

“Many restrictions have been eased but we are at a very delicate stage in the response to Covid-19. There is still a long way to go before we are all completely safe and we must stay disciplined with our hygiene measures, social distancing and infection control.

“We must all do what we can to help prevent the further spread of the virus to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.

“The restrictions which have been eased can be reversed if we see the infection rate begin to increase and by continuing to work together as a community, we can ensure that it does not. We must all make sure that we control the virus and save lives.”

Businesses planning on reopening must complete a Covid-19 risk assessment setting out how they will keep their staff and customers safe, and the safety measures they will put in place.

Any businesses which are Covid-19 compliant will have a certificate, which they can display in their window or on their website to give confidence to customers. Measures include limiting the number of people in shops at once, ensuring social distancing, putting one-way systems in place, carrying out regular cleaning and providing hand sanitiser.

The Parishes multi-storey car park in Scunthorpe has introduced new social distancing measures. The stairwell closest to the bus station on Fenton Street will be up only. The other two stairwells will be down only.

Shopmobility located in the multi-storey will open next week offering its usual services. Entry to the shop will be limited to one person at a time. Mobility scooters loaned out will be cleaned after every use.

Ashby and Brigg outdoor markets were able to begin trading last week. St John’s Market has been open throughout with essential traders selling food and fresh produce.

Non-essential traders at the Scunthorpe market will reopen from Tuesday 16 June.

To support the reopening of the High Streets, North Lincolnshire Council received £150,000 of government cash though the High Street Safety Fund.

Any business requiring further advice and support should contact the Business Team on 01724 297000 or email businessinfo@northlincs.gov.uk.