Business, Latest News | Posted: Monday, June 15th, 2020 at 2:58 pm | return to news

The high street opens today

It’s here at last. If you’ve been missing your retail therapy, pop out to your local high street today, Monday 15 June as many shops which sell non-essential goods are opening.


However, Dorset Council is asking people to shop locally.

Shops that may reopen include those that sell clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and electronics. Hairdressers, beauty salons and leisure facilities like cinemas currently remain closed. Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars are also closed unless they are offering a take-away service.

Businesses will only be able to open if they are confident about managing the risks and are able to follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Dorset Council has been working with town and parish councils across the county. Work is underway and will continue over the coming weeks to implement various measures on the high street designed to help shoppers stay safe:

  • Stencilled markings and signs around busy areas, including bus stops, helping people to observe social-distancing
  • Widening footways and cycleways by temporarily closing parking bays and cutting back vegetation
  • Scheduled partial road closures to provide more space for pedestrians, especially around food huts and vans
  • Creating additional cycle parking and new cycle routes
  • In the longer-term, pedestrianising busy areas with large numbers of cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars.

Some shops will have staff members greet customers to explain the social distancing measures inside, and manage how many customers can come in. Businesses will also manage any queue that forms and stop people from joining if their space limit is reached.

Council-run car-parks have re-opened and normal charges are in operation. People are advised to use their mobile phone to pay for parking where possible, by calling/texting or using the Just Park app. If you need to use a ticket machine, keep your distance from others when waiting to pay.

From today 15 June it is compulsory to wear a face covering while travelling on public transport.

Many public toilets will also be open, and these have full hand-washing facilities available. Some toilets will remain closed while the council makes changes to ensure they are safe for public use.

The advice is to wash your hands regularly, before you leave home and when you get back. If you know you are likely to use a public toilet, make sure to carry your own hand sanitiser and gels.

Cllr Gary Suttle, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Skills, said, “By staying local we can continue to limit the spread of COVID-19, and by shopping local we can ensure that our local high-street shops are able to get back on their feet.”

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