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Cornwall’s high streets prepare to re-open with safety top of mind

Safety is the number one priority for Cornwall’s high street businesses as many of them prepare to open their doors tomorrow for the first time since lockdown.

Following weeks of preparation, local towns will look and feel quite different to the way they were three months ago when the Covid-19 pandemic forced them to close down.

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High street safety measures include new one-way systems for vehicles and pedestrians; pedestrian-only areas and special car parking arrangements, while street marshals and volunteer guides will be out and around in many places to encourage visitors to ‘go with the flow’, respect directional signage and remember to follow social distancing guidelines.

The work has been done according to the needs of every local area and has been supported by funding from a grant of £152,000 awarded to the Council from the Government’s emergency active travel fund and £509,000 of support to towns for temporary public realm measures from the European Regional Development Fund’s Reopening High Street Safely Fund.

In addition, businesses have been encouraged to take the necessary steps to help protect the health of staff and customers such as carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment.

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning, said: “This is a critical time for our town centres in Cornwall. They are dependent for their survival on everyone’s support.

“Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our part in helping prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“If you are planning a high street visit, the advice is to plan ahead. I also urge everyone to follow the safety measures that Cornwall’s high streets have worked hard to put in place, so we can stay safe together and enjoy all the wonderful things that our Cornish high streets have to offer.” 

Richard Wilcox, Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) Manager and Chair of South West BIDs, commented: “Our Cornish towns have led the way nationally in respect of safety and recovery planning. As we work through the Government’s phased reopening programme, we look forward to seeing respectful and considerate visitors, in a safe and welcoming Cornwall.”

The following five safety tips will help you enjoy and make the most of your visit when you arrive:

  1. Go with the flow – keep your distance and follow all local signage.
  2. Be safe – plan ahead, be considerate, responsible and patient.
  3. Say ‘hi’ (Dydh da) to any local high street marshals and volunteers you come across. They’re there to help and guide you.
  4. Help us help you stay safe - remember to wash your hands often, use free sanitiser stations, use contactless payment and follow other hygiene advice when needed. 
  5.   Visit with confidence. Cornwall’s high street businesses are working hard to help protect the safety of customers and staff. Look out for their Covid-19 risk assessment certificate.