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High street reopening: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Some shops reopened on the 15 June 2020. The following guidance outlines what to expect when you return to the town centres and some of the changes you might need to make to your normal shopping habits.

Shops which can reopen

Not all businesses could reopen on the 15 June and some businesses may decide to remain closed. Some businesses plan to open for reduced hours. Check before travelling that the business whose services you want will be open.

Please be aware that some businesses, including restaurants and pubs, will not be reopening on 15 June. They may be offering takeaway or ‘click and collect’ services until they can reopen. Please check with the individual business.

The businesses that can reopen from the 15 June are:

  • food retailers
  • chemists
  • hardware/homeware stores
  • fashion shops
  • charity shops
  • betting shops and arcades
  • tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
  • car dealerships
  • antique stores
  • retail art galleries
  • photography studios
  • gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
  • mobile phone stores
  • indoor and outdoor markets
  • craft fairs
  • similar types of retail

Parking in towns

Many car parks have remained open and all of our car parks were reopened from the 15 June 2020. Parking charges will apply

Toilet facilities

Public toilet facilities in South Lakeland are managed by a range of bodies and organisations, including town and parish councils and community groups.

South Lakeland District Council does not manage any public toilets, but understands that most public toilets in the district have now reopened. However, there will be less toilet provision than normal in many areas as cafes, pubs and restaurants are still closed and you may have to queue for those available.

If there is a change to the location of the usual toilet facilities we are aiming to erect signage showing where the nearest toilets are.

Social distancing in shops

Be aware:

  • it may take longer than normal to complete your shopping and you should consider this when arranging transport to and from the town centres
  • you may need to queue to get into some shops and shops may ask you not to join a queue if there are already too many people waiting to enter. This is to prevent the footways from getting congested and ensure social distancing is maintained
  • you may need to move around the shops in a one way system, shops should clearly mark how they want you to move around their store
  • you may be asked by some shops not to touch items unless you intend to buy that specific item. This is to prevent the spread of the virus on the stock within shops
  • you may be encouraged to pay by card and use contactless payment where possible
  • you are unlikely to be able to try on clothing in any store
  • stores may be offering different refund and exchange policies
  • please respect other people as there may be some who may not understand or be able to follow these changes
  • the social distancing rule applies in all shops and public spaces

Driving and walking around town centres

Walk or cycle into town where this is appropriate. If there are fewer vehicles we can maximise the space available for pedestrians making it easier to socially distance.

Moving around town will be different to normal, be aware:

  • there may be temporary changes to the road layout, be extra vigilant
  • you may see signage advising that you are entering a shared space for vehicles and pedestrians
  • if you are driving you may be asked to reduce your speed to make it safer for pedestrians in the highway
  • there may be more cyclists and pedestrians, ensure a safe distance is maintained at all times
  • there will be signs on lamp posts and stenciled on the footway asking you to change the way you move around the town centres
  • social distancing must be maintained at all times
  • if sitting in a public space remember to stay the recommended social distance and be respectful to those already seated. Do not remove barriers or go into taped off area

To lower the risk of transmission of the virus follow the latest Government guidance about staying safe outside your home.

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