intu provides more details on how its centres will remain Covid-secure

intu has released more information on the safety measures in place at its 13 English shopping centres ahead of the Government’s deadline for the re-opening of non-essential retail on 15 June.

A task force of experts from across intu have created detailed and adaptable plans for its nationwide portfolio, with common principles guiding every centre plan and full risk assessments aligned to every centre to make them Covid-secure locations.

Research released by intu last week shows that over 70% of regular shopping centre visitors would actively encourage compulsory hand sanitation, protective screens at tills, limitations on the numbers able to enter stores at any one time, and 2m distance markers. Over 60% would actively encourage in-store security and CCTV or other technology to control crowds, cashless stores, and would be happy with an average wait time of 10 mins for store entry, to allow for safety.

intu has adapted its existing footfall-monitoring technology so that its frontline teams can accurately monitor and manage the number of people in every centre at any time. It will manage queues outside each centre when capacity is reached and there will be a raft of other measures including one-way systems, floor stickers and staff training to ensure visitors stay socially distanced once inside.

Enhanced hygiene regimes that were introduced at the start of the outbreak will continue, with more deep cleaning of key areas and touchpoints like escalators, toilets and keypads. These measures have remained in place as centres provide vital access to essential services like pharmacies, supermarkets and banks during the lockdown period. Hand sanitation stands will also remain at entrances and other locations throughout each centre for visitors to use during their visit.

Matthew Roberts, chief executive of intu, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming more visitors back to our centres from 15 June in line with Government guidance.

Our centres have and will always be at the heart of their local communities. intu supports around 3% of all retail jobs in the UK and our centres are home to some of the biggest and best brands, so we are doing everything we can to make them safe places to visit and work.

“We have worked closely with our brand customers throughout this period. For many, we are their biggest landlord and we have been able pool expertise from across our 14 centres and intu’s central support teams to offer them guidance and advice throughout the lockdown and reopening preparations.

“Whilst the experience for everyone that visits one of our centres will be different to normal, our teams will be on hand to deliver that warm welcome our centres have become known for.”

The plans have been fully communicated to intu’s brand customers who will continue to be provided with support to help them reopen safely and in line with Government guidelines, such as with queuing zones in the malls to ensure social distancing can be maintained inside stores. Information on which stores are due to open can be found on each intu centre website and visitors are also encouraged to check with each brand directly.

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