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Council Urges Public to Stay Safe as Non-Essential Shops Re-open

June 15, 2020 3:31 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Henry VannWith 'non-essential' shops now able to open, Bedford Borough Council has issued a reminder to the public that coronavirus has not gone away, and everyone needs to continue to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus. They can do so by only making journeys if necessary and by ensuring that social distancing is maintained.

The Council has been working throughout lockdown to support the town centre and local businesses at this very difficult time. There has been increased cleaning in the town centre, and the Council will be placing floor markers, signage and banners reminding people to socially distance. In addition, businesses have been busy introducing new routes and distancing measures in their own stores to keep people safe.

Later this month the High Street will be taken down to one lane of traffic, bringing forward works expected this summer that have been postponed due to the outbreak. By installing semi-permanent bollards to mark out the wider walking areas, there will be more space for people to socially distance in our town centre, particularly around people queuing.

These measures have been brought in to help keep people safe and reduce the spread of the virus. However with rates of infection remaining high in Bedford Borough everyone is asked to continue to take action themselves to help slow the spread and save lives.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said "Coronavirus has not gone away and we are asking everyone to keep doing their bit to slow the spread. Stay at home as much as possible, and if you have to visit the town centre, please make sure you keep your distance from other people, follow any instructions given by shops to keep you and them safe, and be patient as we all adjust in these challenging times. Stay safe, stay local, and stay kind."

Councillor Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning said "It is vital that people do not lose sight of the need to distance appropriately, to respect businesses' rules and floor markings as each individual business will have done their own risk assessment, and treat others in a respectful manner. If you must travel into town, please stay two metres apart from others to help you stay safe, stay local and stay kind. Markings and banners will be in place to remind you of a two metre distance and we would encourage people to respect these guidelines."