Dundee is sending out a “welcome back, stay safe” message as retail and hospitality businesses begin to reopen their doors.
Most non-essential shops will be allowed to open from Monday, while restaurants, pubs and visitor attractions will follow later in the country’s route map out of lockdown.
The city council is currently preparing public areas for increasing numbers of people, with signs and floor markings encouraging social distancing and good hygiene practices.
Developments to assist local businesses include a new marketing campaign and the exploration of a virtual marketplace, as well as radio links to the ambassadors and increased cleaning regimes.
A programme of street animation is also being considered over the summer to help create a holiday atmosphere in the city centre.
Some of the busier city centre streets will have specially-created “sunny Dundee” floor markings to encourage distancing and safe pedestrian flows.
The council is also working with bars, coffee shops and eateries to ensure appropriate additional outdoor seating is available upon reopening.
Lord Provost Ian Borthwick said: “As the city starts to open up again following the unprecedented challenges of recent months, it’s important that we safely support our local businesses as much as we can.
“Lots of our local traders have found ways to adapt during lockdown, such as switching to online sales, and I know they have been well supported by the public.
“Business owners have also put a lot of work into measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of customers, and are now looking forward to safely and responsibly opening their doors once again.
Funding from the Spaces for People programme will see the closure of Union Street to vehicles and its temporary transformation into a vibrant pedestrian hub.
Council leader John Alexander said: “This crisis has created challenges for every sector of the economy.
“We’re working with all of our partners to deliver a range of recovery plans, including supporting the city centre and shopping districts, tourism businesses, the culture sector and more.
“That has meant getting key areas ready for safe use by increasing numbers of people. Distinctive Sunny Dundee signage is being deployed, to encourage people to queue safely and follow one-way pedestrian flows.
“We’ll be ensuring that regular cleaning takes place in public areas and providing options for people to get around, including more cycle paths and pedestrian areas. In all of this, the safety of the public and workers is paramount.”
Councillor Mark Flynn, depute convener of City Development, said: “We know how much people have missed the things we once took for granted – an afternoon at the shops, going out for a coffee or a meal and a few drinks.
“The work we and businesses are doing is about giving people the confidence that they can start to enjoy these activities safely as the easing of lockdown continues.”
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