Town’s shops get set to throw open their doors as lockdown restrictions continue to ease
- Credit: Archant
North Norfolk’s shops are getting ready to welcome back customers as they prepare to open after more than two months of closure.
In Cromer and elsewhere, businesses are putting in place measures to help people practice social distancing as the coronavirus epidemic recedes.
Julie Cole, from Benedict’s Cove gift shop in the town’s Garden Street, said they would be doing two deep cleans before the shop opened, and had fitted a Perspex screen by the till.
She added: “We have hand sanitiser for customers and it will be one person in the shop at a time or one family.”
Chrissie Graham, owner of Fairdeal Antiques and Collectables in Cromer’s New Parade, said she was taking similar measures.
Mrs Graham said: “We’ve repainted the shop, disinfected everywhere, there will be arrows on the floor and a hand sanitiser station outside.
“We need to get Cromer up and running, and we’ll be relying on customers to use their own common sense as well.”
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Mrs Graham said only two customers at a time would be allowed into the shop.
Ian Cutts, from independent sports shop IC Sports in Church Street, said he would also reopen on June 15. He said: “We’ve had a lot of interest from people asking when I’ll be open again. We’ll start off with reduced hours - 10-am-3pm. I’ve spoken to a lot of traders who are going to do the same thing, just to see how it goes for the first few weeks.”
Sam Grout, president of Cromer Chamber of Trade and Business, said business owners were looking forward to reopening.
He said: “Support for our high streets is needed more than ever now. There is a degree of apprehension. It’s all completely new to us but businesses are working hard to put measures in place to keep people as safe as possible.”
Mr Grout called on customers to have patience, and, if they spotted something that could be improved, let the shop staff know about it.
He added: “The fact is that you can plan ahead as far as you like, but the moment you open the door you realise there might be something that needs changing or something isn’t being interpreted as you intended.”
While businesses such as pubs, restaurants and cafes are unable to fully reopen, an increasing number are offering takeaway and delivery services.
Cromer’s Amazona Zoo will also be reopening next week. Owner Benjie Cabbell Manners said: “We aim to open once we have seen the government’s guidelines on opening which will be announced on Saturday. Once those guidelines have been established we will work towards those and open as soon as we are able.