Shop safe, shop local

Blog post – Shop safe, shop local

A raft of ‘non-essential’ shops in Rugby have reopened their doors this week for the first time in almost three months in the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown rules.

Fashion retailers, electronics, toys and book stores have been busy during lockdown implementing social distancing and hygiene measures to protect customers and staff.

So what can we expect when we go shopping now?

We have been using social distancing measures for weeks now to purchase our groceries and essential shopping, so having to wait outside shops and limit the number of people instore will almost be second nature.

Once inside, we will be greeted by hand sanitiser stations and guided which way round to walk around a shop. Layouts may have changed to give customers more space. You can still browse, pick up items like books and cards and try shoes on, but if they are not purchased the shoes will then be taken off the shop floor and quarantined for up to two days.

Fitting rooms will either be closed completely, or clothes that have been tried on will be removed to a separate area, be steam cleaned and replaced on the rails after a short quarantine period. Bra fitting services are not available yet, nor are cosmetic testers or make up demonstrations in department stores.

When you pay for your goods, the retail assistants will be behind a Perspex screen and may be wearing a face mask or visor. Your bagged items will be placed close by for you to pick up to minimise handling the goods. Make sure that you have a card with you to make your payment instead of cash so that you can make a contactless payment. The new limit on contactless payments has increased from £30 to £45 to help shoppers .

Plenty of local cafes and coffee shops are open for takeaways, the public toilets on North Street are open as are the six town centre car parks. Rugby also has plenty of bike spaces too if you’d prefer to cycle into town,

Before you head back into town though it is also worth checking the opening hours of the shops you want to visit. Initially some are opening reduced hours and days just to get back into the swing of being open again. All the details are on their Facebook pages, and some shops are also offering a private appointment service.

And finally thank you for supporting our local businesses who are working hard to provide us with a safe and friendly shopping experience!