‘Optimistic’ Boris Johnson urges shoppers to return in ‘huge wave’ as he visits Westfield before stores reopen tomorrow

0
76

BORIS Johnson has urged shoppes to return in a “huge wave” as he visited Westfield shopping centre before stores reopen tomorrow.

The Prime Minister toured the London high street venue to check out the store before Monday’s grand reopening.

The PM walked through the centre to check out the new safety measures

From Monday, non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen for the first time in almost three months.

However, there are plans in place for strict social distancing rules for shoppers, and a series of safety measures.

Today saw the PM check out the new facilities for himself.

He said: “I am very optimistic about the opening up that’s happening tomorrow, I’ve been talking to the staff and they are very excited.

“They’ve done a huge amount of work, they’re not sure what they are going to get tomorrow.

“Will they get a huge wave of customers or a trickle, we don’t know.

“People should shop, and shop with confidence but they should of course observe the rules on social distancing as well.

“I think it’s important we see a gradual build up, what I want to see is safety, that’s my priority.”

Boris was seen admiring the new screens, using hand sanitiser, and speaking with staff as he uses the one way system.

Boris washes his hands
The PM stands between protective screens

This means Brits can head out to buy clothes, furniture and kitchenware from the high street tomorrow.

Big brands set to reopen their branches next week include Argos, Debenhams, H&M, Primark and John Lewis.

It comes nearly three months after non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Several retailers were able to continue trading online during lockdown, but even so it’s been tough for many.

Bright House, Debenhams and Quiz are among the high street chains to file for administration over the past few months.

Mr Johnson keeps his distance from a shopping centre cleaner

However, there are plans in place for strict social distancing rules for shoppers.

This will likely see one-way systems down the isles, and limits on the number of customers allowed in.

Shops must carry out a health and safety check before reopening to make sure they are abiding by guidelines set out by the government to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

The checks include strict social distancing, which may mean fewer customers will be able to visit the shops in one go, as well as one-way systems throughout stores.

Hand sanitiser stations for staff and customers will need to be installed, and returned items will need to be quarantined for 72 hours.

Staggering times for click and collect orders will need to be adopted and retailers will also need to frequently clean objects and surfaces that are touched regularly.

These include surfaces such as self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals.

People are also discouraged from picking up different items and putting them back.

Changing rooms are also going to remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Shops have been told they will face punishments if they break the rules.

Outdoor attractions such as zoos, drive-in cinemas and safari parks will also be allowed to open, while places of worship will be allowed to open for individual prayer.

Outdoor attractions such as zoos, drive-in cinemas and safari parks will also be allowed to open, while places of worship will be allowed to open for individual prayer.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma earlier announced that pubs, hairdressers and restaurants are still on track to reopen from July 4.

This morning the Chancellor Rishi Sunak insisted the shops were safe.

He said: “It is safe to go [shopping]… we have always been an economy that is driven by consumption, driven by services and the numbers of people employed in these sectors are huge whether it’s in retail or in hospitality, there are millions and millions of people who work in these sectors.”

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here