A new normal for North Kesteven

Date Published: 09 June 2020

People are being urged to protect each other by keeping to social distancing in North Kesteven as Government moves to give the all-clear for non-essential shops to reopen in the District.

Retailers such as those selling clothes, shoes and furniture will be able to open their doors once more on June 15 so long as they can comply with the Governments COVID-19 safety guidance and ensure social distancing requirements are met.   

The Government has released Covid Secure guidelines to help businesses make the relevant social distancing considerations both inside and outside their premises for the safety of customers and staff – for example, using floor tape to create one-way systems and signage to help people maintain a 2 metre distance from each other.

North Kesteven District Council, in conjunction with local authority partners and the business community, is seeking to support the reopening of retail businesses by offering technical guidance and installing social distancing information signage to help ensure high streets can trade safely whilst remaining welcoming.

The authority will also explore the potential for temporary physical adjustments to be made to main high streets, such as increasing the width of pavements and introducing temporary cycle paths.  

Council Leader Councillor Richard Wright said: “As we move forward together to find our new normal in North Kesteven, the reopening of non-essential shops is very welcome news for those businesses and the communities which rely on them.

“There is much work that retail businesses will need to do in order to be ready, and our teams are on hand to provide guidance and answer any questions about the Government’s Covid Secure guidelines.

“In addition, we’ve produced a pack of ready-made posters for businesses to display, clearly stating queuing directions, social distancing reminders and health messages, to help them as they prepare to reopen and ensure customers can easily see at a glance what is expected of them.

“While this is indeed a positive step we must carry on showing our determination against coronavirus by continuing to care for each other. We can do this by giving businesses ample time to adjust, following any signage and instructions displayed inside premises, and above all, maintaining social distancing.

“By doing this we can play our part in making the next steps of recovery possible including the return of our restaurants, pubs, hotels and other much-missed service industries.”

Heather Johnson is owner of pre-loved furniture shop Feather and Stone in White Hart Mews in Sleaford, which will be reopening at 10am, Monday 15 June.

“Customers understand the necessity to provide a safe shopping experience due to the current conditions and we have implemented some simple changes without hopefully compromising our normal friendly personal service,” she said.

“Free hand sanitiser is available on entry to the shop and we have introduced a one way system, highlighted by signage plus floor markings indicating the current 2 metre safe distance. 

“We contacted our local North Kesteven District Council business team and they are positively championing small businesses like ours by providing advice and support, and endeavouring to encourage a safe return to the high street plus destinations like the White Hart Mews. 

“We endorse their initiative to improve customer confidence, increase footfall and help kick-start the local economy.”

A package of posters for use in businesses and workplaces can be found on the North Kesteven District Council website at https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/business/

Businesses who need advice and guidance can get in touch by emailing ecodev@n-kesteven.gov.uk or by visiting https://www.businessnk.co.uk/covid-19-support/

Any updates will be shared through various channels including the Council’s website at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/coronavirus, on social media @northkestevendc and via e-newsletters residents can sign up for via the website.

Tips for safe shopping

  • Take all precautions you can – including washing your hands thoroughly before leaving the house and when arriving home, and making use of hand gel or any other available facilities in between. Take note of any signage with health messages.
  • Walk, cycle or take private transport where you can. From June 15th, those using public transport will need to wear face masks.
  • Follow any signage on high streets, outside and inside shops to ensure 2 metre social distancing for your safety and that of others.
  • Queue as required, and be prepared to wait outside to enter a shop – there may be a limit on the number of shoppers inside in order to ensure social distancing.
  • Avoid taking the family or broader household if you can.
  • If you are vulnerable, please don’t go.
  • Help to protect others – if you or someone in your household is showing any symptoms – a cough, fever and/or loss of taste or smell – don’t go.
Pavement sticker
An example of an NK pavement sticker