MORE than a week on from the reopening of non-essential shops, the Bracknell Forest Council is urging residents to respect social distancing.

Bracknell Forest’s shopping areas saw a number of non-essential retailers reopen on June 15 in line with government instructions following the three month lockdown closure after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A number of non-essential stores at The Lexicon in Bracknell town centre, Crowthorne High Street and Sandhurst High Street, which had been closed since the end of March, are now open with social distancing measures in place.

Councillor Marc Brunel Walker, executive member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “I know that many retail businesses have been keen to open in line with the government’s social distancing rules and likewise many residents have been keen to visit shops that have been closed due to the pandemic.

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“This is a really important step in our social and economic recovery from the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, I’d urge everyone who is visiting our shopping areas to respect all the social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

"They’re in place for your safety and the safety of our community.

"Please make sure you keep two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times, shop alone if you can, wash your hands frequently and do not shop in any store if you are unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19."

Additionally, the council will be working with retailers and trade associations over the coming months to look at how a £108,000 grant for high street recovery could be used to help shops across the borough and boost the local economy

The re-opening of non-essential stores follows on from the reopening of other services in the borough that are now operating with social distancing measures in place including:

The Household Waste and Recycling Centre at Longshot Lane

Car parks at a number of our parks and open spaces

Downshire Golf Complex