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When will Swansea City Centre re-open?
The City Centre has never closed but there have been – and remain – government restrictions as to the types of business that can open. This has been for a good reason – to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Some restrictions are being lifted – but we all still have to continue with physical distancing measures, staying at least 2m away from people from other households.
The Welsh Government are now allowing retailers classed as non-essential to re-open from June 22 on the basis of the medical and scientific advice.
Hair and beauty salons are not permitted to reopen as yet and premises who traditionally service food and drink are only allowed to operate on a take away and delivery basis at the moment.
We have been working closely with the businesses in the City Centre to ensure that the appropriate safety measures are in place and that those returning to the shops can be reassured that they can shop-safe.
What’ll be different to before lockdown?
Physical distancing – and all the measures put in place to allow you to do that!
Please plan your visit to the City Centre. Our retailers will be reopening but if many thousands visit at the same time there will be significant queues for car parks, shops and other businesses which will give rise to frustration and difficulties for you to maintain social distancing.
A limited number of people will be allowed on re-opened premises at any one time so, if a lot of people flock to the City Centre at once, you can expect significant queues outside shops and other businesses. Measure have been taken by the Council to plan for this and the shop staff will be proactively managing their queues. Please follow their instruction and at all times follow physical distancing rules.
There’ll be lots of new signs in place across the City Centre – in shops, on streets and in locations such as the Quadrant Shopping Centre, the Market and arcades. On the streets there’ll also be signs and floor markers to help you queue and keep physical distancing.
There’ll be hand sanitiser available for your free use in the Quadrant and Swansea Market as well as at the entrances and exits to many stores.
In order to support local businesses and to release space to support social distancing, we may remove some street furniture and other items, extend or introduce new Traffic Regulation Orders and relocate street traders. Our Civil Enforcement Officers will also be issuing fines to those that park illegally.
So please: Love your city by supporting business, following the rules, staying apart and being considerate.
Should I wear a facemask?
In some circumstances where it might be difficult to stay 2m away from others, the Welsh Government advises the use of three-layer, non-medical face coverings.
Face coverings are also now advised in indoor venues and on public transport here in Wales.
Why is there no pedestrian one-way system on the streets like in some other places?
We think this would be unworkable because of the wide variety of streets, lanes and pedestrian areas in the City Centre.
We believe the public will respond to one clear message: “Stay 2m apart.”
Please support our city retailers – safely!
What if the system isn’t working?
We’re confident it will and that people will stay safe as long as we’re all responsible by staying apart. Of course, the new arrangements will be kept under review by the Council and partners and changes will be made where appropriate.
How can I be sure that a trip to the City Centre will be safe?
The measures above will be a big help.
There will also be help from shop staff for those queuing.
The Police, City Centre Rangers, Trading Standards and Licensing Officers will be there – especially in the early days – to help explain things and to make it clear that physical distancing must be adhered to.
In the past few weeks around 40 City Centre businesses – such as food outlets and banks – have been open and the Rangers have reported that most shoppers have maintained physical distancing. Thanks to all who have done that!
The Police and City Centre Rangers are also here to help in matters of anti-social behaviour which have seen a significant fall during lockdown.
Swansea BID is issuing a free reopening pack to businesses. These contain information on risk assessments, hygiene requirements and legal advice together with samples of PPE.
Will toilets be open and where can we wash our hands?
Toilet facilities in stores such as Tesco Swansea Marina and Sainsbury have remained open for the duration of the lock-down.
Public toilets such as those in the Quadrant and Bus Station remain closed at the moment and the same applies to the customer toilets located in stores such as M&S, Wilkos and Debenhams.
We are working on being able to reopen these facilities safely, however people need to be aware that there are restrictions in place and plan accordingly.
We would encourage people to bring along with them their own mini hand sanitiser or wipes. There will also be hand sanitation stations in place in the Quadrant and Market as well as within many of the stores.
How will I be able to get around the streets?
As you did before lockdown – please just keep your distance from others and do not cut across queues.
How will things be for those with mobility needs?
There is no current access to disabled toilets or Changing Places facilities in the City Centre at the moment.
Plans have been put in place so that queues running across tactile paving routes are avoided and A-frames will be removed where they are causing an obstruction.
No seats or benches are being removed but people will need to observe social distancing when using them.
Swansea Mobility Hire will remain closed for the time being, so please keep that in mind when planning your visit to the City Centre.
There is no change to the disabled parking provision within the existing car parks in the City Centre, however some of the car parks may remain closed over the short term.
How will I know where to queue?
Businesses are responsible for their queues so they will let you know as you approach the premises. The Council is working with them on which areas of streets can be used for queuing. The areas outside shops differ in scale and dimensions so arrangements will vary.
Please be considerate and understanding when dealing with shop assistants – they are there to help you and keep you safe, and please remember that their space is limited.
Also please be considerate and understanding with other shoppers, especially those who may have mobility issues.
How do I know what’s open – and what’s not?
Businesses are responsible for publicising their opening times and it is important to note that some stores have made changes.
We recommend that you follow your favourite businesses on social media and on other places on the internet.
Will the Quadrant be open?
Yes. The Quadrant has not been closed as it has some essential retailers such as pharmacies. The majority of its other businesses will reopen from 22 June.
The Quadrant will have a number of measures in place to ensure you can keep safe. This will include limiting the number of people in the centre, a pedestrian one-way system with the use of signs, floor markers and barriers. Seating and mobile marketing kiosks will be removed to maximise floor-space. Personnel will be manning the entrances and patrolling the Centre.
Each shop will be responsible for its own queues. Please be considerate and understanding when dealing with shop assistants and with other shoppers.
What about Swansea Market?
The Council manages the Market and has been discussing the process of reopening with traders and giving guidance on risk assessments.
Whilst the Market closed to the public at the end of March, some food retailers there have maintained a delivery service through the lockdown – they’ve been here for Swansea throughout the pandemic – and they hope that they will retain your business!
The Market will reopen on Monday 22 June. Whilst many traders are excited to return to work some are unable to do so at the moment.
There will be also be some changes for customer safety which is paramount:
- The overall number of customers in the Market at any one time will be managed.
- The Quadrant entrance to the Market will be closed and other access points will be designated for one-way traffic.
- Signage will be in place at entrances and throughout the Market. Floor markers will also be used.
- Staff will be posted at the entrances, queueing systems may be in place and these queues will be managed proactively by staff.
- Opening times will change to 8.30am-16.30 but the Market will continue to be open Monday to Saturday.
- Regular checks will be undertaken by managers throughout the day.
- Additional space has been made available to the traders, for example to allow for queuing.
- All displays have been removed from the aisles to release space for social distancing.
- Hand sanitation facilities will be stationed in key areas including the entrances and exits.
- A deep clean of the Market has been undertaken prior to re-opening.
- The cleansing of communal touchpoints will be carried out throughout the day and cleaning will also be undertaken each evening after the Market closes.
- Windows and doors will remain open to assist natural ventilation.
What’s happening with Street Traders?
Many of our established street traders will be expected to start returning to the City Centre in the upcoming weeks as footfall returns to the City Centre.
They too will be observing safe working practices to protect their staff and their customers.
And cultural venues?
There are no immediate plans to reopen the city’s cultural venues such as the Grand Theatre.
We are looking at the potential of running a Click and Collect services from Swansea Central Library.
Are there Click and Collect services available?
Yes. There are designated Click and Collect parking bays on Garden Street which is located at the back of the Quadrant Shopping Centre. These serve the stores in the Quadrant Shopping Centre.
There are a number of other retailers who provide Click and Collect. Please refer to their websites for further details.
Swansea Central library users will be pleased to hear a Click and Collect service is being developed for Swansea Central Library. Watch this space!
What’s the best way to travel into the City Centre?
The Welsh Government says that, to help curtail the spread of coronavirus, public transport should only be used when essential.
The best way to get to town, if you can’t walk there or if cycling is impractical, is to drive – but remember that such journeys should only be with members of your own household.
Can I cycle into the City Centre?
As the amount of cycling has increased in recent weeks, the Council is considering additional facilities for cyclists.
A new cycle route has been created along The Kingsway which connects with the cycle and walking routes into and around the City Centre.
There are a number of cycle maps and resources on the Council’s website which may be of use: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/cycling
Is the Bus Station open?
No. This may change in due course once it is safe to do so and when Bus Services are running more fully once again. Through lockdown the services have been limited to key services and a capacity of 10 passengers per large bus and 20 per double decker.
First Cymru are operating from Wellington Street, Caer Street and Princess Way. Add link to further info/ timetable
No national coach services are running to the city yet.
Is Park and Ride operating?
No. We’re keeping it under review.
Will taxis be available?
Ranks? You may need to phone to arrange a taxi service. It is advised you check with local taxi firms before you travel to the City Centre that they are operating a safe service.
Has the Kingsway gone to a two-way traffic flow yet?
No. That change will be made once road contractors are in a position to achieve that. We’ll keep you informed.
Where can I park?
The Council’s surface level car parks and the multi-storey car park on High Street remains open as they have been throughout the pandemic – and they continue to be FREE for the time being.
The Quadrant MSCP is set to reopen from Monday 22 June and it will be subject to safety measures. This will also be FREE for the time being but parking charges are under review.
A decision is yet to be made in regards to St David’s MSCP.
NCPs on Orchard Street, The Kingsway and Wind Street as well as several other privately run car parks are also available – please check their opening times via their websites.
The parking bays across the City Centre continue to operate as normal. Please be aware that parking enforcement continues to be operational, with a focus on pedestrian areas, to ensure the roads and pedestrian areas run as smoothly as possible. Tickets will be issued to those who park illegally.
Whilst parking please remember to physically distance – keep 2m away from people who don’t live in your household.
Where can I park if I am a disabled badge holder?
The car parks in the City Centre have ample spaces for disabled drivers and there have been no changes made to this existing provision.
Will there by changes to the operation of Pedestrian Zone?
No. The Pedestrian Zone on Oxford Street, Whitewalls and Union Street will continue to operate from 10.30am to 16.00pm daily. Bollards are in place to prevent vehicles accessing this area during these times. Loading and unloading only will be permitted before 10.30am and after 16.00pm.
Tickets will be issued by the Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers to those who abuse the Pedestrian Zone.
What about the Loading Bays?
There are no changes to the Loading Bays located across the City Centre apart from the Bay immediately outside the entrance to the Market on Whitewalls.
This area has been identified as a pinch-point and the bay will therefore be used to provide more space for customer movement as well as to help with queues if needed.
Will I be able to relax by sitting down, and meeting in a cafe?
Some public seats have been removed, such as those in the Quadrant; but none have been removed from outdoor areas. Signs are in place however to encourage physical distancing whilst sitting to keep you and others safe.
You won’t be able to sit in restaurants, bars or coffee shops as they remain closed except for take-away services. The Council is exploring, with others, the possibly of creating more space for outdoor eating and drinking.
Will there be events taking place in the City Centre any time soon?
The City Centre has a great programme of events and activities that take place over the year. In response to the crisis all events across the UK have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Locally, events have been cancelled up until at least October. For further information XXXX
Will I be able to report poor practice by people or businesses?
Yes. If onsite please report these to Police Officer and City Centre Rangers patrolling the areas.
A coordinated response to complaints regarding breaches of the Covid-19 Regulations is being led by the Council’s Licencing Team who are working with Trading Standards and South Wales Police. Complaints should be directed to XXXXX.
BID, in liaison with the Council, are advising businesses as to best practice as to how to comply with the Corona Virus Regulations and there will be extra Council staff in the City Centre to help manage the initial reopening period.
Who’s behind all these plans?
The Council’s City Centre management team has been working hard on them with key partners such as the Police, Market traders, Quadrant Management and officials from BID, the Swansea Business Improvement District, which has hundreds of business members. Other Council teams involved include those responsible for roads, parking, licensing, cleansing, toilets, marketing and public safety.
They are all eager to take a coordinated approach to help kick-start the local economy. They also want you to stay safe and help others stay safe.
The Council is also working on a wider plan to stimulate economic recovery over the medium to long term.
Swansea BID is busy communicating with businesses on issues such as government restrictions and examples of best practice from essential local businesses that have remained open.
The Council’s City Centre management team is collating guidance from national bodies such as the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) – and from English centres where the easing of restrictions began sooner than here.
Why isn’t everything going to be open?
Many Welsh Government restrictions are still in place. That’s why venues such as hairdressers, beauty salons, coffee shops, bars, restaurants and cultural locations such as galleries and theatres are not due to reopen yet.
Are you keeping the City Centre clean and tidy?
Before more businesses reopen we plan to deep clean key areas and are looking to enhance our cleansing resources. Please bear with us on this – and please take your litter home.
Where can I find more business related information?
If you’re a business and you’d like information on help and support during this time please visit: www.swansea.gov.uk/covid19adviceforbusinesses