AS non-essential retailers prepare to reopen to shoppers on Monday (June 15), one Hereford shopping centre has made changes to keep people safe.

Old Market Shopping Centre has introduced a one-way system, hand sanitiser stations and signs to remind people of social distancing guidelines.

Debenhams and Jack Wills are two chains at the £90 million Old Market who have committed to opening on Monday, with safety measures already put in place by centre bosses.

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A spokesperson said: “We have introduced a range of extra measures to support the health and safety of our colleagues and customers as the majority of our stores begin to reopen.

“These include installing hand sanitising stations throughout the centre, and introducing ‘keep left’ systems to help everyone keep a safe distance of two metres. New signage has been installed to help all visitors to follow the new guidelines.

“We are continuing with our enhanced cleaning regimes, which includes regular cleaning of key touch points throughout the day.

“We will also be carefully managing visitor numbers, so we can be confident that everyone can maintain social distancing while visiting us."


It comes as questions are raised about if shop workers should wear a face covering when thousands more stores reopen in England even though passengers will be required to wear one on public transport.

At the Downing Street press briefing on Wednesday (June 10), a member of the public, Ruth from Bournemouth, asked whether gloves and masks will be made mandatory for those serving food and drinks to customers to take away.

The reopening of non-essential shops in England on Monday will coincide with new face-covering measures which require everyone using public transport in England, as well as all hospital visitors and outpatients, to wear them.

When making the announcement on face-coverings on Thursday (June 4), Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said commuters can be refused travel if they do not comply and could be fined.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not say whether face coverings will be required for shop workers, including those serving food and drink, stating the Government will be setting out “all sorts of guidelines” for retailers on how to run stores to be Covid-secure.

“The basic guidance on masks, as you know, is that you wear a face covering when you’re likely to be in close contact with people that you don’t normally meet,” he said at the press briefing.

Relaying the advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) on face coverings, Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said: “Face coverings have potential benefit in situations where there’s indoor spaces where people cannot socially distance, where they are potentially crowded and they will come into contact with multiple people.”

He said the advice from Sage should form the basis of risk assessment for any workplace to decide what should be done.