High Street names prepare for alternative lockdown freedom

Popular High Street names McDonald’s and Greggs are among those making preparations to re-open in the coming weeks, but not in the conventional sense, as the country prepares to get some normality back during lockdown.

Although no date has yet been set for the end of lockdown, which could still be extended, some big name brands are starting to come up with plans for re-opening soon, including McDonald’s which plans to re-open 15 UK restaurants later this month.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s has been running controlled tests this week to explore the safest way to re-open its restaurants.

On May 13, McDonald’s will re-open 15 restaurants in the UK and the list will be announced next week. This will be in a limited capacity and delivery only.

The restaurants will return with much smaller teams and a limited menu. The fast food chain will temporarily not be serving breakfast and will be open 11am to 10pm.

The following measures will be introduced:

  • Perspex screens and floor markings in specific areas
  • Additional protective equipment including non-medical grade face masks
  • Contactless thermometers will be used with staff temperatures taken on arrival at work for every shift
  • Social distancing measures for all of its delivery and service partners

Greggs

Bakery chain Greggs has said its planned branch re-openings next week will now begin behind closed doors due to the risk of excessive numbers of customers turning up.

Around 20 stores are due to open in the Newcastle area from Tuesday on a trial basis, but it will be to test out new operational safety measures and it will not allow customers in. It will continue to review this.

Wetherspoons

According to The Guardian, JD Wetherspoons told investors it is planning to re-open its pubs “in or around June”.

Before the nationwide lockdown, the firm’s boss Tim Martin reportedly vowed to keep his pubs open as long as possible as he didn’t believe closing them would help prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, all of the chain’s 867 pubs in the UK have been shut since the government ordered social venues to close on March 20.

B&Q

Home improvement retailer B&Q has reopened a further 131 stores across the UK, including six in Lincolnshire.

The Lincolnshire stores in question are in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Skegness, Gainsborough and Spalding.

Curtis

Curtis of Lincoln said that in addition to its local delivery service and mobile routes covering the city and surrounding areas, the following stores were back open:

  • Burton Road, Lincoln
  • Bailgate, Lincoln
  • Brant Road, Lincoln
  • The Forum, Hykeham
  • Birchwood, Lincoln
  • Rookery Lane, Lincoln
  • Chatterton’s on Sincil Street in Lincoln,

Opening hours are variable by daily demand, but will generally be 8am-4pm Monday to Saturday.

It also recently announced that its shops in Sleaford and Boston, as well as its St Marks branch on Lincoln High Street, would re-open this week.

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