Suffolk residents are being asked to play their part in reducing infection and shopping local as businesses re-open across the county this week.
Councils, partners and businesses have been introducing temporary or trial measures to help people shop and stay safe while keeping to national guidelines. Support to make this happen comes from the ‘Safer Places’ group, part of the Suffolk Resilience Forum, which includes Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils and is made up of Suffolk’s NHS, Emergency and Public Services.
The government has announced a phased easing of rules around businesses and other properties opening, starting in June. The Safer Places group is supporting businesses to meet this national guidance, allowing them to trade safely and keep their customers safe.
This has meant shops and businesses introducing new social distancing measures as well as some streets being used in different ways to reduce people getting too close.
Residents are being asked to follow the new measures on streets and businesses to keep the risk of spreading COVID-19 and help Suffolk businesses continue trading.
Through the Safer Places work, Suffolk councils and organisations are working hard to support high streets, by devising new ways to help people pass with the little space there is in existing paths and highways.
To help with this parking enforcement will play a role in making sure people keep streets free so traffic can flow or stop people parking on pavements or areas being used by pedestrians. It is expected that more people will be using car parks and motorists are asked to also play their part and acting responsibly and following measures in place.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have been working closely with towns and villages to prepare their high streets and public spaces to meet social distancing requirements. Guidance, advice, and free posters for downloading are available on the councils' social distancing web page.
David Collinson, the lead for the Safer Places group, said:
“The safety of our communities is the most important thing as our high streets and businesses recover. Ultimately, businesses are responsible to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, but through the Safer Places group, we’re doing everything we can to support them and help reduce the risk of infection.
“Everyone has a roll to play in making sure that we all can keep safe and support our local Suffolk businesses. These measures will be constantly reviewed and are completely new for everyone taking part so are likely to change and evolve. Please help by following the measures or having a polite word with a business if you think they can improve.
“Suffolk has successfully slowed the spread of the virus, but we must all stick with it and keep following the guidance.”