Monday June 15th

Woking town centre, shopping centres, villages and neighbourhoods across the borough started to welcome back visitors today (Monday 15th June) as more retailers threw open the shutters for the first time since March.

Businesses classed as selling non-essential goods, including fashion operators, sports and leisure retailers and book stores, are now able to welcome customers to their stores once again as lockdown measures ease.

After a quiet start, by lunchtime, there was a steady flow of customers at some retail outlets, and as more residents made their way out, visitors were being encouraged to take a sensible approach while continuing to observe social distancing guidelines.

“It was great to see more staff and visitors start to the return to the centre and to hear the sound of shutters going back up for the first time in almost three months. We’re also very much looking forward to welcoming more visitors and more retailers back in the weeks ahead and everyone seems pleased to be back.”
- John-Paul Jackson, Woking Shopping Centre Manager

Woking Shopping, which has remained open through lockdown for essential retailers including food and medical supplies, started its wider reopening from 9am as many more stores in Peacocks, Wolsey Place and Market Walk stores were permitted to reopen.

Stores now open include TK Maxx, Waterstones, Primark, Superdry, H&M, Sports Direct, New Look, JD Sports and Topshop.

Debenhams is expected to open later in the week.

The centre is also working closely with its retail brands to provide them with any support they need to ensure a safe reopening.

“With new systems to help protect the safety of everyone, we’re encouraging everyone to observe social distancing guidelines and to work with us as things start to return to normal. I would also encourage potential visitors to check directly with each retail outlet or find updates on their social media channels for opening dates, times and any additional safety policies and guidance.”
- John-Paul Jackson, Woking Shopping Centre Manager

New measures are already in place at Woking Shopping including organised social distancing queues supported by floor stickers and signposting, one way systems, the provision of hand sanitisers at entry and exit points, new signage and an enhanced cleaning regime. It also has technology in place to monitor visitor numbers and capacity and is disinfecting all areas to remove any bacteria and viruses from all surfaces, contact areas and touch points every night before opening the next day.

Restaurants, coffee shops and bars are not allowed to fully open yet, though a number of cafés are selling drinks, food and snacks to take away.

In the wider town centre, a new deep cleaning regime is already under way, with street furniture cleansed every morning. This supports a programme already enacted to cleanse all hard surfaces. Street furniture will also be cleaned with anti-bacterial spray throughout each day.

All town centre car parks will remain free of charge until the end of June.

Meanwhile, Woking Borough Council is urging residents and visitors right across the borough and in every neighbourhood to continue to observe social distancing guidelines in all outdoor public spaces and parks which it said are essential to help keep everyone safe.

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