The sun was shining and tills were ringing as shops welcomed customers back following the latest easing of national restrictions. 

Footfall in Shrewsbury town centre was back to pre-Covid levels as people turned out to support their local traders, with roads closed to traffic to allow social distancing and businesses following the necessary precautions. 

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said a lot of work had been taking place to prepare businesses for a safe reopening and to help ensure people were following the rules. 

He said: “Everyone is understandably excited about opening their doors again, and it has been wonderful to see the town buzzing with shoppers and visitors. 

“However, it is of course vital that we all stick to the rules, which is why Wyle Cop and High Street have traffic restrictions in place to allow plenty of space for social distancing. 

“We have also provided lots of information, along with posters and floor stickers, to help businesses push the message to customers about safe queuing, one-way systems and other safety measures. 

“Early indications are that people are following the rules, and footfall figures were very encouraging with Monday and Tuesday being comparable to a normal weekday before the pandemic hit. 

Kevin Lockwood, Shrewsbury Shopping Centres manager and Shrewsbury BID board director, said the week was going very well. 

He added: “We were really pleased to welcome back many of our tenants on Monday and to see them open their doors for the first time in a long time. It was great to see so many people visit the Darwin Centre, as well as the townand to receive positive comments from many of our stores. We also saw two stores – F.Hinds and Portfolio open for the first time in the Centre. 

“For the number of visitors being up on the same day two years ago is really positive and very welcome. 

“Whilst it’s great to see people back visiting the centre, the health and safety of our tenants and customers will always be our top priority. 

“We are continuing with our enhanced cleaning routines, focusing on major touchpoints in communal areas. Stores are also enhancing their own cleaning routines, following Government guidelines. 

“The queue guides outside stores will be in use to manage footfall within the individual units, and we also have recorded messages playing on the centre’s PA systems reminding visitors of safe shopping guidance.” 

If you are a local business and would like to use the Shrewsbury’s Open branding on your own website or social media, download the toolkit.