LOCAL businesses in West Berkshire can get help to reopen as the coronavirus lockdown restrictions are gradually lifted.

Posters guiding people to follow social distancing measures and checklists for employers are available to download.

Graphic designers at West Berkshire Council have made 13 posters for local businesses, reminding customers to stay two metres apart and wash their hands.

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Separate guides for different types of business has been published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The guides look at how to keep safe and reduce the risk of transmission in places like factories, offices, shops or restaurants. 

Councillor Ross Mackinnon, lead for finance and economic development, said: “We know that many businesses in the district are making plans to reopen in the next few weeks following the new government guidance. 

“We want to make this as easy for them as possible, which is why we’ve created some online resources including downloadable posters and useful tips.

“We’re also looking at road closures, signage in public facilities, cleansing schedules and other ways of making sure reopenings happen safely.”

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Non-essential shops, selling things like books or clothes, can reopen from June 15, Boris Johnson has announced. They were told to close at the end of March to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Cars will be banned from parts of Newbury town centre, to make it safer for pedestrians to queue outside shops. The council will consider if similar measures could work elsewhere in West Berkshire.

Cllr Mackinnon said: “If any businesses need further assistance from us so that they can reopen safely, please contact us and we will do all we can to help.

“Town and parish councils who feel that there are safety concerns in their area should also get in touch to raise their concerns.”

Alok Sharma, the business secretary and MP for Reading West, said: “This guidance provides a framework to get the UK back to work, in a way that’s safe for everyone.

“These are practical steps enabling employers to identify risks that Covid-19 creates — and to take pragmatic measures mitigating them.”