Shoppers planning on heading in to Liverpool city centre next week are being urged to think carefully before making the decision and plan their journey.
From Monday 15 June all non-essential retailers have been given the green light to reopen their doors, and it is expected that many will take the opportunity to do so after being closed for nearly three months
Following the Government’s easing of lockdown measures, the majority of city centre shops are expected to welcome customers – but the message is to think carefully before making a decision about travelling in to shop, and if you do, be kind, be patient, be responsible and be safe.
Due to limitations put in place relating to Covid-19, the ‘new-normal’ shopping experience is likely to involve queuing to get in to shops and there will be extremely limited access to facilities such as toilets.
Stakeholders including Liverpool ONE, Liverpool BID, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, Liverpool City Council, Merseytravel and Merseyside Police have been working closely in recent weeks to make the city as safe as possible when it re-opens.
Working together, Love Your Liverpool branding has been developed and installed across the city centre, with the green and purple messaging directing people to keep to the left, keep their distance and to act responsibly to keep everyone safe.
A brand new website has also been launched – www.loveyourliverpool.com – which gives advice and answers questions people may have if they are thinking about going shopping. These include:
· What measures have been taken to make the city centre safer
· What differences will people notice
· Advice on face coverings, hand sanitisers and social distancing
· What to expect from shops
· What facilities will be available – toilets, baby changing, refreshments etc
· What is the guidance around public transport
The website also provides links to the key retail sites in the city centre, as well as Merseytravel and Public Health Liverpool.
Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Highways, said: “Liverpool remains the city we know and love, but things will be different.
“For several weeks we’ve worked closely with partners to make sure this city is as safe as possible when it begins to slowly reopen.
“Keeping left, maintaining social distancing at all times, keeping our hands clean and queuing to get in to shops is the new normal, and we all need to follow these guidelines to keep everyone safe. Planning is key and people need to check in advance if the stores they want to visit are open, and to plan journeys in and out of town carefully.
“The new Love Your Liverpool website contains lots of valuable advice which will enable people to make the right decision about whether to venture in to the city centre or not.
“We have worked so hard as a city throughout lockdown to get to the stage where we are able to start this slow and steady unlocking, so we don’t want to waste this collective effort by not following these simple guidelines – be responsible, be patient, be kind and be safe.”
Donna Howitt, Communications Director at Liverpool ONE, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming back shoppers but it will be a very different experience from what people are used to.
“We are expecting a large number of our retailers to open their doors on Monday and they have all spent time putting measures in place to ensure customers can shop in a safe and clean environment.
“We are working with partners across the city centre to reinforce the mantra of be kind, be patient and be responsible, and on Monday we will be monitoring the re-opening closely to see what, if any, refinements need to be made to make this a positive experience for everyone involved.”
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company and chair of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN), said: “We’ve been preparing for the relaxation of lockdown for six weeks now, as it was important for everyone to understand and plan for the risks and procedures.
“Our public health is too important for us to rush into opening without having a strategy in place, which is why it has been vital for partners to work together. Drawing on the experience of major events the city has hosted, we’re examining how we manage the city centre in real time, monitoring crowds and numbers to ensure everyone is safe and socially distancing. Confidence is key.
“We are all in this together and we are fortunate to be able to draw on the huge amount of civic pride and camaraderie that binds Liverpool together so we know people and businesses will look out for each other and be determined to keep each other safe.
“The city will look different but the city is here to help and here to start the road to recovery together.”