A host of safety measures are in place in Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington centres as non-essential shops reopen.
People walking around any of the three urban centres will see that Cherwell District Council has installed signage reminding people to stay two metres apart wherever possible. Shoppers may notice areas of the highway being coned off in the coming days to widen walkways and facilitate social distancing. Council officers will be a visible presence, offering guidance and reassuring where needed.
Cllr Lynn Pratt, lead member for economy, said: “Safety comes first when it comes to reopening our urban centres, but local people and visitors can have confidence in the measures that we have put in place. Things are not going back to the way they were, but the community spirit of shoppers and the entrepreneurial spirit of local business remain unchanged. We will all need to be alert to the changes that have been put in place and mindful of the needs of those around us, of course.
“For extra reassurance, I recommend people look out for the COVID Secure posters in shop windows, indicating that the appropriate safety measures are in place. By working together, I am confident that people using the shops in Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington will make the easing of lockdown a success.”
People are being asked to expect some changes to road layouts and to be especially mindful of social distancing at bus stops, bus stations and in car parks.
All business owners have a legal duty to ensure the safety of staff and other persons in the workplace, and this includes reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Government advice requires shops to display a poster in their entrance confirming that they have read and implemented its “Five Steps to Safer Working Together”. This includes carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment and taking all reasonable steps to maintain a two metre distance in the workplace.
The council will continue to monitor Government guidance as lockdown is eased and work with businesses to continue to support a safe and successful reopening.