Hambleton high streets are set to welcome back residents and visitors from Monday as part of the recovery phase of the COVID-19 crisis.
Non-essential shops, cafes and other businesses were forced to close their doors in March as part of the government’s lockdown response to the Coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented move.
Twelve weeks on, as part of the phase two recovery, all non-essential retailers and cafes and restaurants able to provide a takeaway service, have been given the green light to open their doors again, provided the appropriate safety measure are in place.
Since the government announced a 15 June opening Hambleton District Council (HDC) has worked closely with partner agencies as well as parish and town councils and local businesses on plans to open Northallerton, Thirsk, Bedale, Stokesley, Great Ayton and Easingwold safely.
Appropriate adjustments have been made for each town to enable social distancing to be maintained as much as possible, to ensure people can shop, visit and socialise in our towns safely.
As part of these essential adjustments, on Wednesday and Saturday, Northallerton high street will be closed to all traffic from the Town Hall to the Romanby Road junction, other than emergency vehicles, to allow enough room for the market to be held safely now most other businesses are open.
HDC has also launched a public information campaign called ‘Enjoy Hambleton Safely’ which aims to remind people of how they can stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 as they move around each of the towns. People can expect to see floor stickers, lamp post banners, signage and posters throughout our towns reminding them to wash their hands, stay two metres apart etc. This campaign has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Leader of HDC, Mark Robson said: “This really is a milestone date for the business community, residents and visitors across Hambleton and signifies the first tentative steps on our district’s road to recovery.
“Unprecedented times calls for unprecedented measures and this is the first time to my knowledge where we’ve taken the decision to close Northallerton high street to traffic on market day.
“Our priority as a council is clear, to help to keep people safe and we are doing this by putting in place all appropriate measures. We want people to enjoy Hambleton and our market towns but to enjoy it safely. That means following government guidelines around social distancing and hygiene.
“We also want to throw all our support behind our business community who have dealt with probably the most challenging time for businesses in a generation.
“We look forward to welcoming both residents and visitors back and I would urge them to be safe and follow the guidance so we can continue on our road to a full recovery.”