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What to expect when town and village centres reopen across the borough from 12 April

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is working closely with Basingstoke Together, Festival Place, The Malls and partners in Whitchurch and Overton to welcome shoppers and visitors back soon.

As part of the government’s roadmap to unlock national COVID restrictions, non-essential retail, personal care businesses and outdoor hospitality will be reopening from Monday 12 April.

Spring is in the air and everyone is counting down the days to once again enjoy a drink or a bite to eat with others outside, tame the lockdown hair and enjoy the wealth of shops the borough has to offer.

Our local businesses are hard at work to make sure it will be a welcoming and pleasant experience and a number of measures will be in place such as one way systems, increased cleaning, hand sanitising stations and lots of signage as a reminder of what to do to keep your family and other people safe.

Remember to plan ahead of your visit as individual businesses, and in particular outdoor hospitality such as bars, pubs and restaurants are likely to have new measures in place such as booking systems.

When returning to the town centre you will also notice friendly new town centre ambassadors, funded by the council, who will be on hand for useful information and to remind shoppers to wear face coverings and follow social distancing measures.

Motorists will be able to enjoy one hour of free parking in three of the council’s short stay car parks and electric vehicle owners wishing to charge their EV vehicle in the Feather’s Yard charging hub can also park for free, with just the cost of charging to pay for.

Shoppers using council-owned car parks in the town centre are being urged to make card payments using the free RingGo app, with parking set to become even easier and cheaper following the removal of a 20p convenience charge.

Motorists will also be able to extend their shopping trips without having to return to their vehicle and the app also allows visitors to find the closest car park before arriving in the town centre.

As the warmer weather starts to arrive, walking and cycling provide a great alternative to the car to come and visit your favourite shops and businesses.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Executive Director of Borough Development Ian Boll said: “We know the pandemic has been a difficult time for the local economy so I am pleased that a large number of businesses are able to reopen on Monday. I would also like to thank our borough’s businesses who have helped to prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally by continuing to follow the government guidelines.

“To show your support for the local businesses that we all know and love, we would encourage resident and visitors to return to the town centre to enjoy everything it has to offer. But please continue to do this safely by following the social distancing measures that will be in place, minimising the amount of people from your household visiting the town centre and avoiding the busiest times of the day.”

For more information about the town centre, please visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/shopping-eating-drinking and for more on what’s happening across Basingstoke and Deane, visit the Love Basingstoke website at www.lovebasingstoke.co.uk. You can also visit Festival Place’s website at www.festivalplace.co.uk.

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