On 10 May, the Government announced its plans for a phased reopening of non-essential retail from 1 June, if continued social distancing measures ensure Covid-19 infection rates remain low. The Governement has since issued guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. Retailers have also been told that they may operate click-and-collect services as long as self-distancing guidelines could be followed, and customers did not have to enter stores to pick up their purchases.
Since these updates were announced, retailers and shopping centres have been planning for this phased reopening to ensure that when the time comes, they are able to reopen, and operate safely, within the guidelines.
According to the article, the landlords have drawn up initial plans to make their shopping centres better equipped for social distancing ahead of more retailers opening, from 1 June, subject to government guidance.
The Evening Standard said some of the measures that Westfield’s parent Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield will introduce at its Stratford and White City malls include: heightened cleaning; one-way systems where required; monitoring live footfall cameras to manage the amount of people entering; floor stickers to mark social distancing spaces. Staff will also manage people’s adherence to social distancing and visitors will be asked to use every second space in the car park.
It was also reported that Landsec, owner of One New Change in the City and a part-owner of the Bluewater centre in Kent, will also be using floor stickers and signs to remind shoppers of social distancing. And there will be new hand sanitiser points throughout sites, while security and concierge teams will help manage queuing.