Visitors are being encouraged to follow guidance to keep themselves and Mansfield safe ahead of retail shops reopening.
Mansfield District Council is working with businesses, Mansfield BID, Four Seasons Shopping Centre and other partners including Nottinghamshire County Council’s Highways team, to ensure the town centre is safe and ready for non-essential retail premises to reopen from Monday 15 June.
Shopping will be a very different experience to what people were used to before the closure of non-essential retail on 23 March.
Visitors to Mansfield town centre can expect to see hand sanitiser stations, one-way systems and queues to enable people to keep two metres from others. People are advised to follow guidance on signs, banners and floor markings.
A limited number of people can enter shops at a time so customers may have to wait outside. Where there is limited space for queuing, care needs to be taken not to block the entrances of neighbouring businesses. Customers are asked not to join a queue if it has reached its capacity and return later.
Marshals will be on hand in the town centre to monitor pedestrian flow and advise visitors. The council’s Neighbourhood Wardens will be supporting Nottinghamshire Police to ensure the town centre remains safe as businesses start reopening.
The council’s Environmental Health and Licensing teams and the BID have been advising businesses on implementing the Government’s COVID-secure guidelines. The BID has produced a toolkit for businesses, which is available on their website.
Visitors are asked to follow eight simple guidelines to keep themselves and others safe:
- Shop safely and keep your distance
- Don’t come shopping if you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19
- Wash your hands regularly, there are sanitising stations around the town centre
- Follow directional signage in stores and around the town centre
- Face coverings should be worn in line with government guidance – please dispose of them safely
- Shop safely and be respectful to colleagues
- Queue in allocated areas and leave a queue if you are asked to
- Shop local and support local businesses.
The safe reopening of Mansfield Market on 5 June and the wider town centre on 15 June is being supported with up to £97,256 from the European Regional Development Fund.
Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “We want people to shop locally and support our businesses but it’s important that we all follow the safety guidance to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
“A report published this week by Centre for Cities shows that Mansfield is bucking the trend with higher than average footfall figures and is well placed for recovery, which is good news for the town centre in these difficult times.
“The safety measures are new to all of us and I’d encourage people to be patient and kind to each other as we all adjust to the challenges these bring.”
Nikki Rolls, Chief Executive of Mansfield BID, said: “Now is the time for people to shop local and support Mansfield businesses as the town centre prepares for our ‘new normal’.
“We’ve been working with business to help them welcome back their customers safely and the response from the high street has been fantastic. On behalf of the BID board I’d like to thank the essential businesses that have continued to trade during lockdown and in turn kept Mansfield open for businesses during what has been a very challenging economic situation.
“Our aim at this time is to keep Mansfield safe and to support the town centre economy as it recovers from the Covid crisis.”
The public toilets in the Four Seasons are open from 9am to 3pm every day and are free to use. From Monday 15 June they will be open from 9am to 4pm. The facilities at the Old Town Hall remain closed, due to ongoing renovation work on the building. Public toilets at Rose Lane, Mansfield Woodhouse, and High Street, Warsop are free to use and open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.
All the council’s pay and display car parks remain open and are free at this time. The Four Seasons and Walkden Street multi-storey car parks are closed.
The steps from Toothill Lane car park to White Lion Yard remain closed as visibility is too limited to enable social distancing.