Let’s start with the basics. It’s no secret that high streets around England have reopened this week. Personal care services can operate again, outdoor hospitality venues can provide table service and Chelmsford’s leisure centres are open too. While certain restrictions have been relaxed, we know there are still regulations to obey to keep yourself and others safe. Steps are also being taken to keep shoppers feeling safe.

The basics

It’s still important to socially distance from others, wear face coverings inside shops, unless exempt, and stick to the rule of six or two households when gathering outside in Chelmsford. Even people vaccinated against Covid-19 should continue to follow this guidance to stop the spread. The swiss cheese analogy is a good one to read to understand why it’s so important to use all of the anti-spreading measures available.

Quiet times for Chelmsford City Centre

Not everyone will be keen to rush back into the city centre from 12 April. It’s fine to take things at your own speed. To help ease concerns about when Chelmsford’s shopping areas are at their busiest, Chelmsford For You is working on using data to promote ‘quiet times’.

Using measurements from footfall counters, the Chelmsford For You team can gather data about when Chelmsford high street is at its quietest. It’ll take a week or so for the data to become available but watch this space, because Chelmsford For You plans to share the quietest periods to visit the city which might help those most worried about crowds. Chelmsford For You will share on their Facebook page and website when the data is ready.

High street ambassadors are there to help

Seven days a week, there will be a team of high street ambassadors in the city centre. They will be recognisable by their blue Chelmsford For You branded uniform and are on hand to assist residents and retailers. You can speak to the team if spot anything that makes you feel unsure or have questions whilst enjoying Chelmsford’s retail offering. They are there to offer support and reassurance.

The Council’s public toilets in Market Road will be open at the usual times (Monday to Saturday, 8am to 4.30pm and 10am to 3.30pm on Sundays), apart from when they’re being cleaned. If the toilets are closed, a street ambassador will be on hand to advise the waiting time for cleaning. Regular cleaning is important for keeping the toilets Covid-safe.

You can give feedback to high street ambassadors if you spot businesses not following the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines. Alternatively, you can reach out to safesupport@chelmsford.gov.uk and someone from the Council can investigate your concerns.

Chelmsford high street seen from Stone Bridge
Above: Chelmsford high street seen from Stone Bridge. Taken by: http://www.nickstrugnell.com

By Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.

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