Manchester shoppers and workers advised to take 'safety-first' approach

Workers and shoppers in Manchester city centre are being asked to maintain social distancing as much as possible.

Extra signage has been installed across the city centre to remind people to keep their distance from others to help control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. 

Manchester City Council say it is taking a "safety-first approach" to reassure people who need to be in the city centre that it is safe - especially in busy areas such as Market Street. 

Market Street was busy with shoppers yesterday (Monday) as many non-essential shops reopened for the first time since lockdown. 

Eight uniformed and highly visible street marshals are working across the city centre. Experienced in crowd management, the council say they can deal with "any potential crowding issues quickly and efficiently". 

Part of Deansgate has already been closed to traffic - and Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter will now be closed to traffic seven days a week to help people and walking and cycling to move more safely around the city centre. 

And pavements in the city centre and in local district centres have been widened around transport hubs to help people socially distance more effectively as more people return to the workplace. 

The council has also submitted a £600,000 Active Travel bid to the Department of Transport to fund a wide range of schemes that will quickly make more space for people travelling across the city on foot or by bike. 

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council's city centre spokesperson, said: "We have to take a safety-first approach as people begin to return to the city. For the foreseeable future we have to balance our residents’ health and the economic recovery of the city - and tens of thousands of city centre jobs depend on getting this right.

"If you do need to be in the city centre in the coming weeks, you will see some small changes - such as new signs and uniformed street marshals - that have been installed to keep us safe and to remind us that although there have been some changes to lockdown, the pandemic is not over and we must remain cautious. 

“I will be in the city centre on Monday and I will wear a mask when going into shops as both a precaution and a reassurance. We all have a responsibility to look after our health - and we all still have a role to play in limiting the spread of the virus." 

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