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COVID-19: reopening your town centres

There is a lot to enjoy in your town centres and we're working hard to make them safe and welcoming.

The government guidelines state the following can open, with safety measures in place:

  • Non-essential shops can reopen from 15 June 2020.
  • Restaurants, bars, coffee shops and hairdressers can reopen from 4 July 2020.

How to keep safer while visiting your town centres

There are some things you can do when you visit your town centres to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. 

While you're out shopping:

What to expect at bars, pubs and restaurants

If you want to go to a bar, pub or restaurant:

  • Contact venues before your visit – you may need to book a table
  • You may be served at a table, rather than at the bar
  • You may be asked for your contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace process
  • Some venues will be closing earlier than usual
  • Venues will be operating at reduced capacity with space for social distancing
  • Video: Watch a video about how a local business, The Medicine Tap in Rochdale, has adapted and reopened to help keep customers safer. Watch video on YouTube (2 mins 16 secs)

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You'll need to contact individual venues directly if you'd like to know whether they're open.

Travelling into your town centre

You're encouraged to drive, walk or cycle if you can as the government has asked us to avoid public transport where possible.

How we're getting your town centre ready

We're working with key partners, including Rochdale Business Improvement District (BID), so you can enjoy all our town centres have to offer.

The steps we're taking include:

  • Reopening of the hospitality industry: we're making contact with businesses to ensure they have all the support and information they need to open safely. Our ;licensing team has contacted every licensed premesis in the borough to provide them with advice and support around reopening. To operate safely, leisure venues will be required to follow a number of rules and anyone wishing to visit them will need to adhere to them.
  • Council staff will be joining forces with police to visit venues throughout the opening weekend and subsequent weekends to support visitors and businesses.
  • We’re pedestrianising Packer Street in Rochdale town centre to create more outdoor space for businesses in this area. This will allow customers of pubs like the Flying Horse Hotel extra space to drink and dine outside safely. We're also relocating the Packer Street taxi rank to the other side of the road, so it will now be located in the town hall car park. A small section of Nelson Street at its junction with Packer Street will also be closed to traffic.
  • We’re increasing cleaning across all our town centres, with an additional focus on key areas like handrails and ticket machines at car parks.
  • We've added signage to pavements and lamp posts to remind shoppers about the importance of following government guidance and we’ve given posters and stickers to businesses to help them spread the message.

Workplace safety advice for employers

Although the government is keen to get people back to work, you should only re-open your business if you can do so safely.

You can access official guidance on COVID-19 workplace safety. In addition we've produced posters and other materials for businesses to download, print and display in their premises.