Banbury's Castle Quay set to welcome customers back with safe shopping experience

Most of the stores at the Castle Quay Shopping Centre in the town centre of Banbury are set to reopen on Monday June 15.
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All onon-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from June 15 if they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Shops like supermarkets and pharmacies have been trading throughout the pandemic.

Not all stores at Castle Quay will be reopening, but the 'majority' of the centre's stores will open their doors again next week.

Oliver Wren, the director of Castle Quay Shopping Centre, stands at one of its entrances, which has a new one-way traffic flow system set upOliver Wren, the director of Castle Quay Shopping Centre, stands at one of its entrances, which has a new one-way traffic flow system set up
Oliver Wren, the director of Castle Quay Shopping Centre, stands at one of its entrances, which has a new one-way traffic flow system set up

Eight stores, deemed 'essential' businesses such as a few banks and pharmacies, have remained open throughout the lockdown, and will remain open next week.

Two of the three 'key' businesses of the shopping centre have already been open such as M&S and Boots. But Debenhams is expected to reopen by midweek on Wednesday June 18.

Oliver Wren, the shopping centre's director, said: "It's just about reducing that level of contact, while still being welcoming to the customers.

"We want to make sure the public feel safe here to shop in this new normal."

One of the 30 hand sanitiser stations inside the Castle Quay shopping centreOne of the 30 hand sanitiser stations inside the Castle Quay shopping centre
One of the 30 hand sanitiser stations inside the Castle Quay shopping centre

Many the cafes will not open next week. But Muffin Break in the shopping centre is already open on a take-away only basis. Several of the other cafes in the cenre plan to reopen later this month.

Shopping centre officials declined release which stores would specifically be reopening next week, but they suggested people check their website at https://castlequay.co.uk/ for the latest updates on stores reopening.

Mr Wren added: "We are looking forward to welcoming our shopppers back to the Castle Quay Shopping Centre, we work towards the wider reopening on Monday June 15.

"We have been working hard behind the scenes on safety measures, including clear signage indicating social distancing and arrows to follow as you move throughout the centre, and increasing the number of hand sanitising stations available to the public.

Oliver Wren, the director of Castle Quay Shopping Centre, stands at one of its entrances, which has a new one-way traffic flow system set upOliver Wren, the director of Castle Quay Shopping Centre, stands at one of its entrances, which has a new one-way traffic flow system set up
Oliver Wren, the director of Castle Quay Shopping Centre, stands at one of its entrances, which has a new one-way traffic flow system set up

"We ask people to keep their distance, keep their hands clean, to shop alone, if possible."

Designated entrance and exit points have been set up around the shopping centre, which have been clearly signposted to ensure a one-way flow of traffic.

There are more than 30 hand sanitiser stations throughout the centre.

The disabled toilets and baby changing stations have remained open throughout the lockdown. The centre's main toilets will reopen next week in their normal location next to the customer service station in the centre.

A limited number of people will be allowed into the main toilets to allow for safe distancing.

A secutity guard will be at the customer service station, who will also monitor and regularly wipe down the Amazon collection lockers located in the shopping centre.

Officials said they do not expect queues to form to enter the shopping centre, but there may be queues to get into certain shops as they open next week.

Mr Wren said they have a system in place to help manage queues as they develop inside the centre, which includes making sure they do not overlap.

He added: "What we're trying to do is encourage a one-way flow throughout the shopping centre.

"We have really good CCTV throughout the centre and we're monitoring the pinch points."

In line with government guidance the shopping centre no longer has public seating availble inside, and the play zone is not yet open.

Mr Wren added: "Our key priority is welcombing guests back safely. There is signage throughout the centre to remind customers of the 2m rule. We're trying to put as many safety measures in place as possible."

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