Shops are being supported by the council as they start re-opening their businesses, while residents will be encouraged to 'Go Shop, Go Eat, Go, Safe, Go Local', as Portsmouth City Council commits to supporting the recovery of the local economy.
From 15 June non-essential shops will be re-opening and further businesses like restaurants could start to open in July dependent on government advice. The council continue to work with businesses and will review the ongoing and changing situation. Some of the practical steps to support the safe opening of shops include:
- Suspending non-essential road works around busy retail areas to reduce conflict on footpaths
- Making it easier for the public to use active travel to move around the city
- Temporarily removing some parking spaces from 15 June to create space for social distancing outside shops.
- Changing the positioning of market stalls in the city to prevent clashes with shop queues
- Suspending licenses for pavement chairs and tables
- Encouraging the public to think about how they travel to shops and the way they shop, to reduce the spread of coronavirus
- Installing social distancing signage and street markings around main retail areas
- Providing guidance and advice to support businesses
Over the coming months residents will be encouraged back to the high streets safely. The slogan 'Go shop, Go eat, Go safe, Go local' will remind people to think about the businesses in their community. In the first month the focus will be on following the safety elements including following shops guidance, being patient and kind as shops are operating differently, to do their bit to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Cllr Steve Pitt, the council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: "We are committed to supporting the safe re-opening of businesses in the city and encourage residents to support our local economy by returning safely to our shops while following the latest government guidelines around social distancing and wearing face coverings.
"Some pavements outside of businesses provide limited space for queueing and social distancing, and no one knows the exact impact that opening shops will have but we will continue to work closely with businesses and residents over the coming weeks and welcome your feedback on how things are working."
If you are a Portsmouth business needing support with re-opening plans call the dedicated coronavirus business support helpline on 023 9284 1641, email RegenerationAdminTeam@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/businessreopening