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The West Midlands is safe, secure and open for business


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The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is kicking off a new campaign to highlight the measures local businesses are taking to make their premises Covid-secure.

The campaign, called “Open for Business, Safely”, will promote the steps that shops, cafes, gyms, beauty salons, transport providers and others have put in place to make their premises safe as they prepare to welcome back customers.

Shops are now allowed to stay open until 10 pm from Monday to Saturday in a bid to spread out shopping and avoid congestion. Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality can also reopen, but customers must sit outdoors and be served via table service.

Using the hashtag #WMOpen4Biz, local companies are being encouraged to use social media to share details of the preparations they have made so they can invite customers and members of staff back on to their premises safely.

Tony Elvin (pictured), general manager of the Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull, said: “We can’t wait to safely welcome visitors back to Touchwood, and that’s why we’re supporting this campaign.

“The measures in place to keep shoppers safe during their visit include screens at the tills, a one-way system to aid social distancing, a Covid-secure visitor capacity limit for the centre, readily available alcohol gel, an enhanced cleaning regime and additional staffing to ensure mask compliance and to respond to any queries.”

The WMCA is asking businesses to go online and use their social media accounts with the tag @WestMids_CA and the hashtag #WMOpen4Biz to show what they have done to make their business or offices COVID-secure. This can include measures such as social distancing floor stickers and hand sanitising stations.

Essential businesses have been open throughout the pandemic, ensuring their staff can travel and work safely. Travel for West Midlands, which is part of the WMCA, continues to undertake a wide range of measures to keep public transport safe for passengers.

Mike Olley, general manager of the Westside Business Improvement District, which includes the Broad Street entertainment area in Birmingham city centre, said: “After months of planning, new outside hospitality spaces around Broad Street are open to welcome back customers, and I would like to say a big ‘thank you to everyone involved.

“Significant measures have been taken to ensure premises are Covid-secure – to keep customers and members of staff safe – but we’re reminding everyone who visits the district to play their part too and remember ‘hands, face, space.”

Customers are also being asked to participate in the campaign by posting selfies – wearing a face covering – as they return to the shops, pubs and cafes using the hashtag #WMOpen4Biz, which will be shared via the WMCA’s social media accounts.


Written by: David Watkins

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