What a difference a metre makes

By | Category: Travel news

The shops have been open for over a week now in both England and Northern Ireland and non-essential shops, a phrase as ridiculous as it sounds because all shops are essential if you need the item concerned, re-open in Wales from tomorrow.

Cribbs Cuaseway, a big out-of-town retail park on the outskirts of Bristol

Scotland will re-open on the 29th of June.

When shops opened in England, there were, supposedly, queues of people long before shops opened. Some queues were reportedly in the hundreds.

Waiting a week has seen the queues diminish and the media stories disappear. Footfall – the measurement of how many people are entering shops – is way down but still enough to give hope to retailers that wondered if they would need to close up for good.

Retailing is a significant tourism draw although quite often overlooked. If it attracts us to a destinations and out-of-town retails sites, outlet malls like those at Bicester Village, Lakeside, Metrocentre, Bluewater, Merry Hill and Meadowhall it also attracts us to cafes, restaurants and other sights nearby.

Key to the viability of shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants as well as many other industries is the social distancing and how many people can you fit in a shop. The government says two metres; the World Health Organization (WHO) says one.

The UK government is planning to announce later this week its review of two metre distancing. With the Northern Irish government planning on one metre distancing in schools it is hard to believe that there won’t be some relaxation in the current rule. At least in England for the Scottish and Welsh governments have made no review.

Could we have different distancing in different countries?.

Politicians could say they are following WHO advice by opting for just one metre. That would cheer retailers no end, as well as the hospitality industry, transport and tourism and give another short in the arm to the economy.

But would it bring a second wave? That is what politicians and medical experts feel. The problem they have is that they won’t know until it is tried.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,