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Safety measures in place as more shops in Maidstone prepare to reopen as Covid-19 lockdown eases

Maidstone will look different when shoppers return to their favourite retailers next week, with a host of anti-coronavirus measures bought in.

In public spaces social distancing rules apply, with 51 signs dotted around the town centre reinforcing the message, and shoppers should stay to the left when walking down narrow streets.

Fremlin Walk is expecting to be busier next week (36384040)
Fremlin Walk is expecting to be busier next week (36384040)

Some street furniture has been removed by Maidstone council so it's easier to keep apart from others.

Many shops are only allowing a certain number in at a time and queues outside will be limited to the length of the store front, to prevent pavement blocking.

At The Mall, in King Street, many non-essential shops plan on reopening next week, including Greggs next Friday, New Look and Superdrug.

Access to the centre will be closely monitored and if the number of shoppers rises to levels that prevent social distancing, access will be reduced or temporarily stopped.

Arrows and signs in common areas to encourage a one way system are also in place.

Social distancing measures are being introduced at Fremlin Walk (36384048)
Social distancing measures are being introduced at Fremlin Walk (36384048)

Shops in Fremlin Walk will also be opening their shutters, with enhanced cleaning regimes, increased security and signs.

The council and the town's business improvement district One Maidstone are working closely with Kent County Council and Kent Police to make sure everything is safe.

John Foster, the council's head of economic development, said: “Opening up our town centres is vital to their future success and those essential businesses within them. We will be keeping a very close eye on the situation and may need to make changes as things progress; this is a completely new scenario for all of us.”

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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