Manchester urges safety first as city prepares to open ahead of Christmas

The City Council asks Manchester to continue to adhere to Covid-19 regulations as the city reopens following lockdown in Tier 3 – or Very High Covid Alert Level.

Non-essential retail will reopen under the local tier system, which will allow people to return to the city centre ahead of Christmas to do festive shopping. 

New “Welcome Back Manchester” signage will take on a festive theme as the national lockdown comes to an end, but they carry serious reminders for people visiting the city centre to keep their distance, wash hands and wear a face covering where necessary.  
To ensure shoppers can remain safe while working through their Christmas lists, more uniformed Covid marshals will be on hand in busy shopping areas – such as Market Street – to manage crowding issues quickly and efficiently. And these marshals will also be stationed around district centres across the city to ensure our highstreets are as safe as possible.  

Pavement widening schemes across the city, installed following the initial lockdown earlier in the year, will remain in place, along with the road closures that were put in place at the same time.  

This means part of Deansgate, Thomas Street and Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter will continue to be closed to traffic to support the hospitality industry (particularly once they can reopen fully), and to help pedestrians maintain their distance while in the city centre.  

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s City Centre spokesperson, said: “Lockdown in the winter months has proven a very different prospect to summer, and we know people will be raring to get out and get their Christmas shopping done.  

“Supporting local businesses at this critical time of year is really important, but we do need to remain cautious and following safety guidelines is as crucial as ever. Covid has not gone away. 
“You will see more Covid marshals in the city centre, there to keep us safe and manage crowds, and road closures will still be in place to give pedestrians more room to distance. And remember to wash your hands regularly, and wear a face covering.” 

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