Safety first when returning to the shops

Safety first when returning to the shops.

Newham Council is urging residents to follow the rules on social distancing when many shops, market stalls, and retailers at shopping centres classed as non-essential reopen for business as some lockdown restrictions are loosened from today (15 June).

The Council has been working hard on high streets and with businesses to ensure reopening is achieved in line with Government social distancing and hygiene guidelines, and provided retailers can demonstrate they have completed a coronavirus risk assessment and are complying with the guidance.

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “Newham has painfully endured one of the worst mortality rates from coronavirus of anywhere in the country. We cannot risk a second wave in our borough which would be disastrous for all Newham residents.

“The lifting of lockdown restrictions to return to the shops classed as non-essential is something that we have been eagerly awaiting – but we are all concerned about ensuring that the easing of lockdown restrictions is done in a way that reflects and responds to the local context.

“The way we shop is going to be different for a while and visits might take longer than usual. Please do not give up your resolve. Continue to practise social distancing and hygiene measures. Let’s not risk slipping back and allowing the virus another chance. Please stay safe and protect the fragile recovery we have worked so hard to achieve.”

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 (a new cough, fever or change in your sense of taste or smell) don’t go back to the shops for the sake of your health and for the safety of others. Isolate immediately, stay at home and book a test via or by calling 119. If you live with people who have health conditions and are extremely vulnerable to catching the virus, think about how they can continue to be protected and avoid the risk of becoming infected and potentially seriously ill.

Customers can expect to wait in queues outside because many shops will be restricting the number of customers entering at any one time. People should keep two metres apart while in queues. If you are queuing on the street, stand to the side of the pavement to allow other users to pass with a two-metre gap. Use hand sanitiser gel regularly when you are out.

Walk or cycle to your destination, and back, if you can, because there will be reduced capacity on all public transport. Wear a face covering, which is legally required if you have to travel on any form of public transport.

Further information is available on our dedicated Covid-19 web pages.

Published: 15 Jun 2020