High streets preparing for return of shoppers with special measures to enforce social distancing

Stores selling non-essential items in England will be allowed to reopen from mid-June (SWNS)

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Following the announcement by Boris Johnson earlier this week, high streets across England will be safely welcoming back shoppers from the middle of June.

The government has stated that businesses selling non-essential items - including fashion, betting and charity shops - can reopen from June 15th, with outdoor markets and car show rooms allowed to receive customers from tomorrow, June 1st.

Many retailers have been closed for ten weeks, when the coronavirus pandemic caused the UK to go into lockdown in late March.

Some town centres around the country have already been putting preparations in place to maintain the social distancing necessary to keep the infection rate down.

Shipley town centre in Bradford has set-up signs to remind shoppers about social distancing (SWNS)

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Some high streets have been setting up a one-way system for pedestrians - including Shipley town centre, in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Signs on lamp posts and painted on the floor will be reminding shoppers to keep two metres apart.

Roadside parking bays will be temporarily removed to create wider pavements to enable this.

Changes will also see a hundred pedestrian traffic lights across the district become automatic - meaning people don’t have to press any buttons to activate the crossing.

Pedestrian crossings will become automatic so the public don't need to press buttons (SWNS)

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The measures come as the government lifts some lockdown restrictions tomorrow, allowing outdoor markets to reopen, as well as for groups of up to six people to meet outdoors.

Shipley Market Square is to open for the first time in months, and Bradford Council has said the area is being used to test the new social distancing measures for shoppers - which will then hopefully be rolled out across the district.

A spokesperson for the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, said: "The first test of the type of social distancing measures being considered for across Bradford district are to be implemented in Shipley’s market square ready for this weekend.

"Moves to install frequent automatic crossing periods - without the need to touch the request button to make traffic stop - at up to one hundred pedestrian crossings across the district, are also being implemented, complete with signage to advise of the changes.

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"Having the right measures in place to help people maintain social distancing is crucial to protect the public’s health and reduce the spread of the virus, helping to save lives while allowing essential travel.

"This will help people to stay safe as we support the economy to get back on track sustaining jobs and livelihoods as the government restrictions on travel and work are gradually eased."