Shop Local: COVID-secure support team will help people enjoy town centres safely
- Credit: Archant
A COVID-secure support team has formed to help Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield town centres be safe and enjoyable places to shop in the run up to Christmas.
The initiative is a partnership between Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Herts police and the Welwyn Garden City BID (Business Improvement District).
A team of five will be on hand in both town centres during December, to provide guidance for the public and businesses on maintaining social distancing, wearing face coverings in shops unless exempt, queueing safely and frequently sanitising or washing hands.
Cllr Bernard Sarson, executive member for regeneration, economic development and partnerships, said: “It’s been incredibly tough for our town centres this year and we want to do everything we can to support them during the Christmas shopping season, ensuring residents and visitors can shop local with confidence and help our traders thrive this Christmas.”
The support team will also be around to help people queue with confidence while enjoying the festive attractions across the town centres – including the Christmas trees and giant snowman, teddy and top hat in Hatfield and the Christmas Trail in Welwyn Garden City, which features the giant Christmas teddy, the new penguin music box and the magical fountain.
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Cllr Fiona Thomson, executive member for governance, public health and climate change, added: “People want to feel safe when they visit our town centres and play their part to be safe too. Our friendly COVID-Secure Support Team is there to provide that reassuring presence, answering any questions and on hand to provide advice and support.”
The team has partnered with police to ensure people’s personal safety – handing out free wallets and purse bells to help shoppers keep their valuables safe and deter pickpocketing.
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Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Simon Mason said: “We know this year has been really difficult and many of you will be feeling anxious as you go about your Christmas shopping.
“As we return to some form of normality, I hope that shoppers and businesses feel reassured by these measures that we’ve put in place with the council. In spite of the challengers of the pandemic, we are as determined as ever to ensure that Welwyn Hatfield remains a safe place.”