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Today's the day many shops in West Norfolk reopen



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Shoppers can today go back into town centres in West Norfolk and find a wide range of outlets open.

Stores were busy over the weekend preparing for the big return but life has far from returned to normal yet.

Social distancing rules will still apply to shops meaning many will have restrictions on the numbers allowed inside at one time and therefore queues are likely.

Primark in King's Lynn (36617918)
Primark in King's Lynn (36617918)

In Lynn, West Norfolk Council, in partnership with the town's Business Improvement District organisation and the Vancouver Quarter, is asking for people to follow signs to keep left to maximise social distancing.

But one 'non-essential' business that has been disappointed by the Government is Merkur Cashino amusement arcades. It had announced that its outlets, including those in Purfleet Street and Norfolk Street, Lynn, would be back open today.

But a last-minute U-turn by the Government means that will not now happen.

H&M in King's Lynn gets ready to reopen (36617920)
H&M in King's Lynn gets ready to reopen (36617920)

Mark Schertle, its chief operating officer, said: “Our entire team is disappointed by this decision that came late evening on Thursday 11 th June. Our Covid-19 secure implementation plan was in the final stages, with all of our teams in England phased to return to work and be ready to open on Monday. Our teams have worked tirelessly to get our business back up and running.”

It is understood that the government advisory team believes that ‘arcades’ would not be able to comply with government guidelines for retail. This is because customers will need what the Government is calling “dwell time” in order to partake in the activity, which is at odds with their guidelines. The guidelines for retail state that customers should be able to enter a premise, make their purchase and leave as soon as possible.

Mr Schertle said: “This is not the conclusion we were expecting. Whilst I must say that the support the Government has provided throughout the lockdown has been a great lifeline for our business, I do not understand how they can then make a decision like this at the 11th hour when all of our preparations were nearly complete.

Yours clothing in New Conduit Street, Lynn (36617924)
Yours clothing in New Conduit Street, Lynn (36617924)

"We are confident that we have everything in place to keep our teams and customers safe, many of whom were looking forward to the opportunity to come back to our venues.”

TK Maxx in King's Lynn town centre (36617922)
TK Maxx in King's Lynn town centre (36617922)


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