The Big Reveal
w/c 23rd November 2020
This week I have been finalising new signage that will be going live in the town and in other shopping districts around the borough. The three key messages that will be covered by this public realm signage includes hands, face, space guidelines, keeping distanced from others, and finally asking everyone to isolate if they have any symptoms. These lamp post signs will be installed next week as we move back into a tiered system of restrictions.
There has been lots of anticipation and confusion after Boris’ announcement earlier in the week. Anticipation for confirmation of our alert level so that our businesses can prepare in a timely manner for the guidelines they must adhere to, and confusion as for the last few weeks businesses have been working towards reopening on the third rather than the second.
Yesterday it was revealed that we will be living under Tier Two restrictions in Southend-on-Sea from the re-confirmed 2nd December date. The rule of six will now apply again outdoors but households cannot mix indoors. Retail, personal care, indoor leisure, accommodation, dining, and fitness businesses can now re-open in a COVID secure manner with set restrictions. Pubs and bars can open too, but only if they are operating as a restaurant with alcohol only being served with a substantial meal. These new restrictions prove almost impossible for many to trade if they as do not have a food offering in place or it is just not financially feasible to set this up.
Let’s support our businesses that are open by completing our Christmas shopping locally in our town. Let’s take advantage of the traders opening for late nights, the free parking after 4pm on Thursdays and all day Sundays in select council car parks, the parking promotion on offer at other times, and using click and collect instead of delivery wherever possible if shopping online. We can also continue to support venues that will remain closed by using their click and collect and delivery services, leaving reviews online, and buying vouchers on offer.
Tiers are due to be assessed every two weeks with the first review scheduled for 16th December so if we continue to be safe and stop the spread of the virus there is hope that we can move down to tier one ahead of Christmas.