intu Milton Keynes has released more information on the safety measures in place at the centre ahead of the Government's deadline for the reopening of non-essential retail on 15 June.
A task force of experts from across intu have created detailed and adaptable plans for each of its 14 shopping destinations, with common principles guiding every plan and full risk assessments aligned to every centre to make them Covid-secure locations.
intu Milton Keynes has adapted its existing footfall-monitoring technology so that its frontline teams can accurately monitor and manage the number of people in every centre at any time. It will manage queues outside the centre when capacity is reached and there will be a raft of other measures including one-way systems, floor stickers and queues outside stores to ensure visitors stay socially distanced once inside.
Enhanced hygiene regimes that were introduced at the start of the outbreak will continue, with more deep cleaning of key areas and touchpoints like escalators, toilets and keypads. These measures have remained in place as centres provide vital access to essential services like banks during the lockdown period. Hand sanitation stands will also remain at entrances and other locations throughout each centre for visitors to use during their visit.
The plans have been fully communicated to intu Milton Keynes's retailers who will continue to be provided with support to help them reopen safely and in line with Government guidelines.
Research released by intu last week* shows that over 70% of regular shopping centre visitors would actively encourage compulsory hand sanitation, protective screens at tills, limitations on the numbers able to enter stores at any one time, and 2m distance markers. Over 60% would actively encourage in-store security and CCTV or other technology to control crowds, cashless stores, and would be happy with an average wait time of 10 mins for store entry, to allow for safety.
Matthew Roberts, chief executive of intu, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming more visitors back to intu Milton Keynes and our other centres from 15 June in line with Government guidance. Our centres have and will always be at the heart of their local communities. intu supports around 3% of all retail jobs in the UK and our centres are home to some of the biggest and best brands, so we are doing everything we can to make them safe places to visit and work.
"We know we cannot do this alone and everyone who visits our centres whether for work or to shop will play their part in keeping themselves and each other safe by following the official guidelines, and the instructions and safety information provided by our teams.
"Whilst the experience for everyone that visits intu Milton Keynes will be different to normal, our teams will be on hand to deliver that warm welcome our centres have become known for."
Zara, LEGO, Topshop, Topman and Burton are among stores to be opening at intu Milton Keynes from Monday 15 June. More information on which stores are open can be found at www.intu.co.uk/miltonkeynes/news/covid-19 or on each brand's website.
*The full research can be found here: https://www.intugroup.co.uk/en/insights/the-new-normal-retail-during-and-post-covid-19/