COLCHESTER’S shopping centres are putting detailed plans in place to reopen safely to the public.

Lion Walk Shopping Centre last week announced a raft of proposals including a one-way system for shoppers, hygiene stations and queue stewards to ensure customers can safely return to the shops.

Culver Square shopping centre has now announced it will reopen from June 15, but under strict new conditions.

A spokesman for Culver Square shopping centre said: “We are working with retailers to develop detailed plans to ensure staff and customers will be safe around the centre and to ensure social distancing is abided by.

“The measures in place will include, but are not restricted to, additional hand sanitising stations, enhanced cleaning regimes, and increased security presence.

“We would like to thank the public for their patience and cooperation during this difficult time and to express appreciation to our fantastic team who are working very hard in challenging circumstances to support our retailers, serve our communities and take care of one another.”

More details will be revealed ahead of reopening.

Colchester's independent traders are well placed to recover from the coronavirus crisis, one business owner has said.

Bill Nettelfield, owner of Bill and Bert’s gift shop in Sir Isaac’s Walk, said his shop would be reopening on June 15 with new safety measures in place.

Gazette: Bill NettelfieldBill Nettelfield

He said his biggest concern was the number of people who would return to the town centre.

“I think Colchester is well placed to recover than many places as we don’t have undercover shopping centres,” he said.

“I also think it is the independents who are better placed to bounce back. The High Street chains could be the ones who really suffer.”

Dennis Davis, owner of Deja Brew cafe, has reopened his business for takeaways.

He said he is hopeful trade will increase but normality could be some way off.

He said: “I don’t think shopping will be a family day trip activity at the moment. I don’t think this year we will see people sitting having a coffee at tables like we’re used to.”