Many of our high street shops are now open again after going into lockdown at the end of March.
This is great news for our local businesses, who will need our support to survive through this difficult time, but we all need to act with great care when visiting the high street to avoid a resurgence of the virus.
To reduce the risk of transmission, we urge you to follow these six tips:
- Shop local: Social distancing regulations mean that our public transport system can only take a fraction of its previous capacity, and increased car usage would only worsen congestion and air quality in the borough. Try to shop as locally as possible, travelling by foot or bicycle. This will also help your local businesses to rebound after losing a lot of income during lockdown.
- Maintain social distancing: From 4 July, a new ‘one metre plus’ rule will apply, meaning that you may be as little as one metre away from someone who is not from your household where greater distancing is not possible. However, you should always try to stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you don’t live with. Queuing systems and one-way routes through shops should help you to keep your distance from others.
- Wash your hands: You should wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds before you leave your home and immediately after you return. You should also avoid touching your face whilst you’re out and about.
- Use contactless to pay: If possible, use contactless payment rather than cash or by entering your PIN number. To help slow the spread of the virus, you should try to touch as few items and surfaces as possible.
- Be patient: Some things may take longer than they used to. Queuing to get into a shop and following a one-way system may mean you have to wait for others in front of you. Remember, these new regulations have been put in place to protect you, your family and the ones that you love from a potentially deadly virus, so please show patience and keep a safe distance.
- Keep smiling: If we work together and follow the rules, we can keep the risk of spreading the virus to a minimum. Keep smiling and enjoy visiting your favourite shops for the first time in three months!
Concerned about health and safety on the high street?
As you visit your local shops and traders, you may have questions about your health and safety on the high street, or concerns about lack of social distancing or other controls in local businesses. Our Regulatory Services Team is here to answer any questions around health and safety in local businesses and investigate any potential breaches of COVID-19 regulations. You can get in touch with them via email at RSP@merton.gov.uk.