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South Holland District Council remind town centre visitors to help protect lives and livelihoods

With South Holland’s town centres and markets open for business again from next week, the District Council is reminding residents to be responsible and considerate when visiting, and to follow new guidelines and measures to help restrict the spread of the virus and allow everyone to shop locally with confidence. 

Non-essential shops across the District have began to re-open having been closed since lockdown began in March. South Holland District Council has been working with these businesses and market traders, in line with the latest Government guidance, to prepare the town centres for their return. 

Following national Government guidelines, new signage has been designed and displayed by the Council, encouraging social distancing and reminding people to stay aware in car parks and other areas. 

A new one-way system will also be implemented in Spalding, Holbeach and Long Sutton, which you can see on the maps below. These are designed so that a visitor’s nearest shops are on their left, and are to ensure there is a consistent flow of shoppers with minimal risk of encountering someone head-on. These plans are just for general guidance and will not stop shoppers from being able to cross the road to get to their intended destination. 

Following feedback about the system, the Council are re-iterating the importance of the new guidelines and the reasons for them. Town centres will be the busiest they have been in months from Monday, and by following the new guidelines and remaining aware of those around them when in the centres, they will greatly reduce the risk of a further spread of the virus and help allow those who are concerned about the risk to feel safer when shopping. 

Markets in Spalding (Tuesday and Saturday), Holbeach (Thursday and Saturday) and Crowland (Friday) will also be re-opening, with Long Sutton market due back in the not too distant future. 

The Council has taken the decision not to charge rent to stalls at this time, to support them through the difficult period as shoppers begin to return and get used to the new guidelines.

Council-owned car parks in the District will also remain free of charge currently, as the Council looks to encourage people to return to high streets and support the local businesses who have been impacted greatly by the Coronavirus outbreak. Public toilets in Spalding (Vine Street and Winfrey Avenue) and Holbeach will also re-open over the course of the week, with regular cleaning in place. 

The Council has worked with businesses to ensure they are happy with the changes and feel supported with the new guidelines, with the Public Protection team sending letters to businesses in town centres across the District offering support and advice with becoming COVID-compliant.

Businesses will be carrying out risk assessments and implementing new cleaning procedures and social distance measures, ensuring the safety of their shoppers and workers.

As part of the wish to make residents feel safe and secure, new street marshals and the Council’s community wardens will also be an active presence in town centres during the reopening. They will be able to advise and guide people as to how the new systems work and encourage people to follow them wherever possible. 

Councillor Gary Taylor, deputy leader and portfolio holder for communities and facilities said “It’s really important that we can reopen our town centres and high street businesses to help support them after such a difficult few months and I encourage residents to come out and visit your local town to do just that. 

“We all have to remind ourselves to be considerate and responsible and take social distancing as our own personal responsibility to make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable when visiting.

“This is a joint effort between SHDC, Lincolnshire County Council, businesses, traders and residents, and is a new experience for all of us. We need everyone’s cooperation and buy-in if we are to make it all work; so come Monday, please be patient and considerate of the new systems and those around you. 

“Residents can stay up-to-date with the latest news and information on town centres and markets by following the Council on Facebook and Twitter, or by talking to our team who will be out and about to help. I look forward to seeing residents return to town centres and markets, even if in a slightly different way than before.”

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