12/06/2020 - Permalink

Safely reopening businesses in our town centres

Related topics: Community / Coronavirus / Economic growth / Health / Public protection

Shropshire Council is committed to ensuring health and protection is the priority across everything we do. This extends to the preparations for our businesses to reopen from Monday 15 June 2020 onwards and to lay strong foundations to build our economic recovery from COVID-19.

We recognise the challenges are significant for businesses and it is difficult to keep up-to-date with all the latest requirements as they are changing so rapidly.  We want to work with businesses to help them overcome these challenges in a way that ensures they continue to follow COVID-19 rules, health and safety measures and other legal requirement aimed at protecting the safety of the public and their staff.

We want to ensure public health is protected and at the same time encourage businesses to open and operate safely for their staff employees and the public, both within their premises and also in the high street and in other public areas.  This will help our health and social care services continue to cope with demand and to avoid the risk of lockdown measures being reintroduced.

We have a range of services and working groups, including those with key regulatory responsibilities, aimed at helping businesses to reopen safely and to reduce the risks that may undermine our economic recovery in the long-term.

Karen Bradshaw, Acting Interim Chief Executive of Shropshire Council, said:

“We want to manage public safety so that we can reduce the risk of harm to any individual, particularly as a result of commercial activity on the highway and including the management of public spaces for social distancing purposes.  To help us do this effectively, we need businesses to continue to apply as normal for all licences and permits and strongly encourage business owners to seek advice if they are at all unsure about what they need to do.

“We do recognise, as a result of changes to the highway to accommodate social distancing, that businesses may be prevented from trading in ways that they would ordinarily wish to. In these cases, we will work with businesses to find the most appropriate solutions and help ensure they are not disadvantaged in the long run.”

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

“Protecting the health and safety of the public remains our number one priority, and everyone has an individual responsibility to help us do this.  Now that most retailers are being permitted to re-open, and hopefully the hospitality industry will follow in July, businesses must also ensure they take the right steps to protect their employees and customers.

“It is crucial that business owners take responsibility and open only if they are satisfied that they can protect their staff and customers from the spread of COVID-19.  We have highly knowledgeable and skilled staff who are happy and able to help retailers and the public with any concerns they may have.  If you need to speak with us, please get in touch.  We are here to help.”

For specific advice on how to trade safely, comply with distance selling requirements, trade on or from the highway, or any other regulatory trading matters, please contact Shropshire Council at advicecompliance@shropshire.gov.uk or 0345 678 9067 (select option 3).