intu Watford has outlined how it will safely support the gradual reopening of non-essential retail stores at the centre in line with Government guidelines.
The plan drawn up to keep everyone who visits or works there safe includes new social distancing and hygiene procedures and more support to help brands safely reopen their stores.
Whilst unique to intu Watford, it was developed by a taskforce of experts from across intu who used a series of central, common principles for intu’s 14 shopping destinations across the UK as well as research carried out among shopping centre visitors.
It includes placing limits on the number of people and cars allowed into the centre at a time, with some parking bays closed, and there will be a raft of other measures including one-way systems, floor stickers and staff training to ensure visitors stay socially distanced.
Enhanced hygiene regimes that were introduced at the start of the outbreak will continue, with more deep cleaning of key areas and touchpoints like escalators, toilets and keypads. These measures have remained in place while intu Watford provides vital access to essential services such as pharmacies, supermarkets and banks during the lockdown period. Hand sanitation stands will also remain at entrances and other locations throughout the centre for visitors to use during their visit.
And intu Watford staff will be given personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them safe.
The plan is being fully communicated to intu Watford’s brand customers (retailers) who will continue to be provided with support to help them reopen safely and in line with Government guidelines, such as with queuing zones in the malls to ensure social distancing can be maintained inside stores.
Matthew Roberts, chief executive of intu, said: “intu is the biggest landlord for most of our brand customers so we have been working to help them plan the reopening of their stores as soon and as safely as they can.
“Experts from across intu have formed a specialist taskforce who have considered everything we need to run intu Watford and our others centres as safely as possible, with a series of central, common principles for the portfolio and individual plans for each centre.
This includes working with our brand customers and providing them with all the support they need to reopen safely, as well as new social distancing and hygiene procedures to keep everyone who visits or works in our centres safe.
“We have introduced enhanced cleaning regimes and hand sanitation stands throughout every centre, measures to limit the number of visitors and ensure they stay socially distanced once inside, and given our staff the protective equipment they need to stay safe.
“We know we cannot do this alone and everyone who visits our centres whether for work or to shop will play their part in keeping themselves and each other safe by following the official guidelines, and the instructions and safety information provided by our teams.
Our teams have been working incredibly hard to keep our centres clean and safe during the lockdown and we are hugely grateful to them, and we would also like to thank our brand customers and visitors for all their cooperation and patience so far.”