Facilities across Loughborough have started re-opening after the Government further eased lockdown measures this week.
Starting with Loughborough Market on the 28th May, the Borough Council will be permitting a limited number of traders on site (between 12 and 15), selling perishable goods. The market was suspended at the end of March in compliance with the government regulations imposed at the start of the lockdown.
The Loughborough Outwoods have also recently re-opened, with the popular ancient woodland now adorned with signage to remind people of the need to follow the social distancing rules.
In line with new government advice announced on Monday relating to outdoor markets and car showrooms, stalls at the popular market will be spaced apart throughout Market Place to allow traders and shoppers to have enough room to observe social distancing.
— Charnwood Borough Council (@CharnwoodBC) May 28, 2020
The Council has said that they will be using floor graphics where pavements are wide enough, as well as signage and barriers in the town centre to help shoppers and stalls adhere to social distancing measures, particularly around queueing.
Councillor Jenny Bokor, the lead Council member for Loughborough commented on the change, saying that “People’s health and wellbeing is our top priority and we completely support the Government’s advice and encourage people to stay at home if they can.”
However, she went on to state that “the Government is also clear that more businesses can open and that means we need to take a sensible and pragmatic approach and work with local businesses and others to create safe shopping areas. We have looked carefully at Loughborough town centre at ways to help manage growing numbers of visitors.”
Despite best efforts, the councilwoman acknowledged that they might not get the measures right the first time, admitting that “we may need to change and adapt some of the measures we have introduced but we’re on a learning curve as much as anyone else as these are unprecedented times.”
In other developments, Loughborough’s department stores and shopping centres could re-open again in just over two weeks’ time, starting with shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics. They will be given permission to trade from the 15 of June as long as they take action to enforce social distancing and make their premises “Covid-secure”.
Featured image by Frankie Stevens