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Customers urged to observe 2m rule as city prepares for shops to re-open

Preparations are under way for the re-opening of city centre shopping in Swansea on Monday as customers are urged to shop responsibly and maintain the two-metre rule.

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Swansea Council, Swansea BID, the Quadrant Shopping Centre and South-Wales Police have been working together behind the scenes to plan for the phased re-opening of the city centre in line with the Welsh Government announcement today.

Shops have been making arrangements for queuing systems outside their doors to ensure social distancing is maintained while signs are going up around the city centre to remind shoppers of the two-metre rule.

City Centre Rangers and other Council officers will also be out and about on the streets from Monday to offer guidance to shoppers as well as to businesses to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said: "We want to welcome people back to the city centre in a safe way. We've been working closely with businesses, retailers and other agencies for the day when non-essential shops can re-open.

"But it will be vital that everyone works together. Our message is the same as it's always been: Stay Safe, protect the NHS and maintain the two-metre rule. We want people to enjoy shopping but to do it responsibly."

Among key points shoppers need to know:

·       Be patient: Expect to stand in queues as the stores will only be able to let a certain number of customers in at one time.

·       Plan your visit. Not all the shops will be open and some will be operating different opening times - check websites for the latest information on your favourite stores.

·       Car parking is free in all Council car parks, including the Quadrant Car Park, at the moment. However, St David's car park remains closed for now.

·       The Quadrant Centre will be open from Monday

·       Swansea Market will be open next week with a reduced number of traders and the entrances and exits will be controlled to support the two-metre social distancing rule.

·       The Bus Station and its toilets will be closed, although this is being kept under review. 

·       Further information including a Shopping Guide and FAQs on shopping in the city centre can be found here

Cllr Stewart said: "The return of non-essential shopping to Swansea is an important time for us all on the way back to enjoying some degree of normality in our lives.

"It's going to be challenging because we will all need to get used to doing things differently. We love our city and we want its businesses to thrive and our residents to stay safe.

"So please be responsible, observe the two metre rule when you're out shopping and let's do all we can to keep each other safe."

Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), said the re-opening of city centre shopping will be a vital moment for customers, businesses and their staff alike.

He said: "Businesses are looking forward to welcoming you back to their shops. However, please plan your visit because shopping will be a different experience to the one we were used to prior to the start of the pandemic. 

"Shops are setting up their own queuing systems and in-store distancing, sanitising measures and other procedures.

"In most cases they will be similar to the kinds of experiences we've all had visiting supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and other essential shops during lockdown.

"We have been working with many businesses to create best practice to help inform the city centre reopening planning process as part of our pre recovery framework strategy. 

"To make sure everyone stays safe, we're asking customers to be patient, to exercise common sense and to stay two metres away from one another. We are all in this together."

To find out more about the re-opening of the city centre, including a Shopping Guide and FAQs, go here



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