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One-in one-out rule, seats removed, entrances shut - Town mall’s precautions to keep shoppers safe

PUBLISHED: 15:14 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:14 25 March 2020

An empty Market Gates on the first day of lockdown. The centre has introduced a range of measures including taking out all the seats in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus Picture: Lynn Christine Stephenson

An empty Market Gates on the first day of lockdown. The centre has introduced a range of measures including taking out all the seats in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus Picture: Lynn Christine Stephenson

Archant

A store has introduced a one-in one-out rule as seats are removed in a mall where only a handful of stores continue to trade.

Some stores in Great Yarmouth’s Market Gates centre are only letting in one customer at a time as they work to adhere to strict government guidance on social distancing during the coronavirus lockdown.

Boots reportedly saw a queue first thing but maintained a one-in one-out admissions policy to stop people from different households mixing.

The store in Market Gates is one of four “essential” retailers to remain open in the mall. The others are Wilko, Poundland, and Iceland.

Superdrug is closing from today (March 25) to support its Gorleston store.

The shop in Gapton Hall is open with restrictions. A worker said it was a staffing issue and they hoped to reopen soon.

Centre manager Nick Spencer said precautions were being taken to minimise the risk of transmission, including taking out all the seats to stop people gathering, and isolating areas of the centre where no shops were open.

Shoppers can only enter through the main front entrance, and although the car park remains open the toilets are shut.

Mr Spencer said cleaning routines had been bolstered over the last few weeks with all surfaces regularly disinfected and that the mall was being “policed” for social distancing breaches.

Market Gates has introduced a range of measures to keep shoppers safe at the mall which remains open. Note: This picture was taken before social distancing and coronavirus lockdown Picture: Daniel HickeyMarket Gates has introduced a range of measures to keep shoppers safe at the mall which remains open. Note: This picture was taken before social distancing and coronavirus lockdown Picture: Daniel Hickey

“In reality because of the government lockdown we are seeing people coming in for essential goods,” he said. “We have restricted entry to the main entrance only and we have isolated parts of the centre which are not open.

“We have removed all seats because we do not want people dwelling in numbers that are not allowed.

“We are trying to take account of anything that would breach those regulations so people are encouraged not to sit next to each other

“All stores are observing social distancing with taped areas at the checkouts. People in Yarmouth are observing the government guidelines and staying at home.”

He said after Monday’s announcement they had seen a “dramatic drop” in visitors to the town centre.

“We are getting a steady trickle and the likes of Iceland are seeing people queuing for the 9am to 10am slot,” he said.

At Boots people can only purchase baby or pharmacy items. Only two customers are allowed in store at a time, one upstairs and one downstairs.

Boots at Gapton Hall is only serving customers through the hatch.

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