Newton Aycliffe shopping centre has unveiled the new measures which have been put in place to keep shoppers safe and able to socially distance from this week (15 June).

The centre has remained open throughout the COVID-19 crisis for essential retailers, but with the Government now giving the go-ahead for other shops to trade again, new guidelines for shoppers have been put in place.

This includes a one way system to and from the lift and rear car park – with directional arrows telling people the way to travel – and a queuing system outside of shops, marked with floor tape placed two metres apart.

The detailed plan for when the centre is fully reinstated will see the Management team and Maintenance staff closely monitoring people’s behaviour and if they feel social distancing rules are not being obeyed, they will kindly request that people do so.

New signage has been introduced throughout the centre which will give shoppers guidance on social distancing including new signage on post flags reminding customers to remain 2m apart.

The centre has also increased its cleaning which will see dedicated sanitising of all touch point areas throughout the day.

“We are very pleased that we are able to fully reinstate shopping at Newton Aycliffe but with that it is very important that everyone abides by the social distancing rules,” said Paul Smith – Centre Manager.

“We have everything in place for that to happen but it’s vital that shoppers take note of the new queueing systems and adheres to the 2m distancing, for the safety of both visitors and the staff.

“We know this is all very new but we would also ask that everyone behaves in a respectful manner, both to our employees and to each other.”

Trading times at the centre will remain unchanged, although individual retailers may be changing their opening hours.

“We would advise people to check with the individual shops to see if they are operating at reduced hours,” said Paul.

The lifts will also be available for anyone needing to use them to access to and from the car park upper levels and again social distancing rules will apply with signage stating that only one person or one family to use them at any given time.

The seating in the main pedestrian walkways will still be available for use but it is requested that while using them customers remain 2m apart.

All car parks – will be open, this includes the multi-storey at the rear of the centre and the single storey ones around the centre.

“Again we are appealing to everyone that they make sure that they stick to the social distancing rules while using the car parks, the stairs and the lifts,” said Paul.

“Even though the rules have been relaxed in terms of shops being able to re-open, it is still vitally important that everyone acts responsibly and follows the new systems in place.”