From 15th June, more shops will reopen and The Council is working in partnership with retailers and landlords to make sure businesses, staff, residents and visitors are all able to shop obediently.

The council has been carrying out assessments and planning so shops in the county’s main towns can reopen with anti-social engineering measures and reminders in place.

People should also be aware that some parking areas and lay-bys in town centres will be suspended to allow paths to be widened. There will be an ongoing review of these plans that will be updated based on government orders.

Visitors to the county’s town centres are being reminded to follow government orders that prevent you from meeting in groups of more than six, and to stay two metres apart, or 6.56 feet.

On public transport, people are ordered to wear a face covering. All visitors are reminded to wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds when they return home.

Business owners, workers and shoppers are reminded to follow government rules and stay at home if they, or anyone else in their household, show coronavirus symptoms.

It is hoped that the reopening of shops will positively benefit the county by getting people back to work while supporting the high street and the economy.

This month, the council has also launched a county-wide consultation for residents to give their views on a longer-term plan to re-engineer our towns.

Cllr Carl Marshall said: “It has been a priority for us to support town centres in ensuring all visitors can shop safely when retail outlets begin to reopen from 15 June.

“Reopening town centres for businesses will be a welcome boost to the economy after the knock-on effects of the coronavirus outbreak, but it is also important that we can continue to social distance and protect ourselves and others while using our town centres.

“A number of risk assessments and safety measures have been put in place to ensure town centres and shopping areas can be used safely when more retailers reopen. We will be closely monitoring areas in the weeks that follow to make any necessary changes or additions which can assist with social distancing and allow visitors to shop confidently and safely.

“The health and safety of the public continues to be the highest priority. We are reminding residents to continue following social distancing and safety guidelines at all times to protect themselves, traders, retail staff, and other shoppers during this ongoing pandemic.”

For more information about town centres reopening in County Durham, visit

The public consultation on ways to create better street space can be found at

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