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Reaction as Newbury's shops reopen their doors

Some non-essential retailers have opened for the first time in nearly three months

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Reaction as Newbury's shops reopen their doors

Some of Newbury's town centre shops have reopened today for the first time in almost three months – but with strict guidelines in place to ensure everyone is kept safe.

A number of businesses have opened today, with the remainder set to follow suit in the coming days and weeks as the economy slowly starts to pick up following the Covid-19 outbreak.

One-way systems, limiting the number of customers allowed in at any one time, hand sanitiser stations, plastic screens at tills and staff wearing PPE are just some of the measures being put in place by stores.

Parkway Shopping centre manager Andrew Marmot said: “We are really pleased with the way day one has gone so far. 

"We are very grateful that people, on the whole, are respecting the social distancing measures and we look forward to welcoming more people back as more retailers start to reopen."

Scott Waters, who owns Scott Waters Opticians in Northbrook Street, said: "We've had a really good first day back.

"We were a bit worries about whether everyone would adhere to the social distancing guidelines but they have been absolutely fantastic. 

"A lot of customers come back in just to say hello and see how we were, which is really nice."

Mr Waters said the company had taken a number of steps to ensure customers were safe, including sterilising glasses, sterilising the card machine between each transaction and operating a one way system in the shop.

West Berkshire Council has posted leaflets to more than 300 local businesses looking to open in the weeks to come, depending on Government guidance, outlining what steps they would need to take to remain safe and what support is available to them.

The council's economic development officer, Gabrielle Mancini, said: “We are here to help. We have a team and resources in place.

“If businesses need to get in touch they can do that and we will do all we can to get them back on their feet.” 

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