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Shop local and shop safely is the message from the Leader of Malvern Hills District Council ahead of the next stage of the country’s lockdown easing road map next week.

From Monday, 12 April non-essential retailers, hairdressers and other personal care services can reopen. Pubs, restaurants, and cafes will also be able to serve people outside and outdoor attractions can also reopen.

To support the reopening Malvern Hills District Council has developed its ‘Let’s get back to supporting local traders safely’ campaign, which encourages people to get out and back local businesses, while following the rules to help keep everyone safe.

Residents are being advised to remember the following while out shopping or using other services:

  • Keep a safe distance from others, including when queuing
  • Wear face coverings indoors (unless legally exempt) and properly so they cover the nose and mouth at all times
  • Sanitise hands when entering a business and try not to touch products unless intending to buy them
  • Pay by contactless if possible
  • Try and shop at times when businesses are likely to be less busy and continue to make use of their delivery and click and collect services
  • Follow the rules on group mixing when using outdoor hospitality

Traders are also encouraged to take advantage of relaxed rules that will allow most non-essential retailers to open from 7am until 10pm Monday to Saturday.

The council has so far spent more than £30million supporting businesses through the last 12 months of lockdowns and disrupted trading. Several million more will be paid out under the new Restart Grant scheme, offering payments of up to £6,000 for non-essential retailers or £18,000 for hospitality and leisure businesses, is due to go live shortly.

Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “It’s been an incredible effort by everybody to get our infection rate down. Local businesses have played their part by shutting their doors and now we have a chance to repay them.

“I encourage people to get out on to the high street and support our local traders but follow the rules to keep yourself, your loved ones and everyone else safe. Let’s get back to supporting our traders safely. Let’s not put it all at risk now.”

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