CHESHIRE Oaks says "strict health and safety protocols" will be in place when it reopens on April 12.

The popular Ellesmere Port shopping destination, which closed on December 30 last year due to the rising number of Covid-19 infections, will initially operate with reduced visitor capacities to enable social distancing.

The centre will continue with its increased cleaning regime while also launching a 'By Appointment' initiative which allows customers to book shopping times in stores so they select quieter times to visit.

Owners McArthurGlen have also confirmed that many of Cheshire Oaks' food and drink partners – including Carluccios, Starbucks and Wagamama – will also reopen offering takeaway and alfresco dining services.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday that the next stage of lockdown lifting can proceed from April 12 as planned, which includes the reopening of non-essential businesses.

"We have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the centre is ready for reopening”, said Cheshire Oaks general manager Kenny Murray.

"The health and safety of our guests and staff is paramount – we pride ourselves in going above and beyond to ensure our customers visit is a safe and enjoyable one after the most recent closure of non-essential retail, and we will continue this after April 12."

Cheshire Oaks will have the following measures in place:

  • Increased cleaning of high touch point areas throughout the centre with disinfectant including door handles, rest rooms and store entrances.
  • Toilets cleaned every 30 minutes and hand sanitisers available for guests to use in common areas.
  • Traffic and centre capacity updates shared via the centre’s social channels to allow guests to plan their visit beforehand.
  • The launch of 'By Appointment' which allows customers to book shopping times in stores to help support shoppers in finding the quieter times to visit.
  • Guests will be required to wear face coverings in stores in line with Government restrictions, unless exempt, and are highly recommended to wear them in the external open-air malls.
  • Capacity restrictions to manage the volume of guests visiting the centre, including working with Cheshire Police and Cheshire West and Chester Council on the traffic management plan to assist in controlling car park capacity and road network flow.
  • Social distancing and hygiene measures remain active ahead of the reopening, with markers to remind shoppers of the recommended 2-metre social distancing guidance.

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