Most of East Hampshire's shops and services are open and looking forward to welcoming you. The shops have put things in place to minimise the risk of catching coronavirus for their customers and staff.
If you have returned to the high street and are shopping safely, thank you.
It is important to take precautions to keep yourself and others safe. This page has tips and links to help you stay safe outside your home.
If you feel unwell
It is important to self-isolate if:
- you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- you've tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
- you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive
- someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
- you're told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
The government has announced a new financial package to support and enforce self-isolation. Self-isolation is a vital way to stop the spread of coronavirus as it minimises your contact with others.
In some circumstances, if you are required by law to self-isolate from the 28 September 2020, you may be supported by a payment of £500, payable from East Hampshire District Council.
Before you go out
The best way to be safe while out and about is to plan ahead. Remember to:
- Take face covering(s) and a bag to put used ones into
- Take hand sanitiser, if you have it
- Take a contactless card or mobile phone to pay with (some businesses may not accept cash)
- Download the NHS COVID-19 app (if your phone allows). Switch on contact tracing
- Download RingGo so you can pay to park in council car parks through your phone
While you’re out
To reduce your chances of catching coronavirus, remember three things:
Hands. Face. Space.
Washing your hands
While coronavirus is not likely to survive for long periods of time on outdoor surfaces in sunlight, it can live for more than 24 hours in indoor environments. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer, regularly throughout the day will reduce the risk of catching or passing on the virus.
Advice on how to wash your hands properly is available on the NHS website.
Covering your face
Coronavirus is carried in the air by tiny respiratory droplets that carry the virus. Larger droplets can land on other people or on surfaces they touch while smaller droplets, called aerosols, can stay in the air indoors for at least 5 minutes, and often much longer if there is no ventilation. Face coverings reduce the dispersion of these droplets, meaning if you’re carrying the virus, you’re less likely to spread it when you exhale.
For information on face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own, visit the GOV.UK website.
Transmission of the virus is most likely to happen within 2 metres, with risk increasing exponentially at shorter distances. While keeping this exact distance isn’t always possible, remaining mindful of surroundings and continuing to make space has a powerful impact when it comes to containing the spread.
For advice on meeting with others safely, visit the GOV.UK website.
You may have to queue to get into shops, and many require you to sanitise your hands when you enter or exit. Local independent shops rely on your custom so if you’re asked to wait, please stick with it.
Shop alone if you can, this will make social distancing and queues easier for everyone.
The BBC has produced a useful video about how to shop safely.
If you do not wear a face covering, the shop you are visiting can refuse you entry.
The Police have powers to issue £100 fines to people who do not wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets.
There are some circumstances, for health, age or equality reasons, where people cannot wear face coverings.
Pubs and restaurants
Bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés all over the district have made changes to the way they operate to ensure that you can enjoy a safe visit.
You should wear a face covering when inside, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
They should now display a QR code that you can use to check-in using the NHS COVID-19 app.
If you don’t have the app, they will have an alternative way of recording your details for Test and Trace. They are legally required to collect this information, so please give accurate details.
Some venues will ask you to check menus and order food on an app or website, so it would be worth having a mobile phone with you if you have one.
Venues will follow the rule of 6 and should not allow bookings of more than six (with certain exemptions).
When paying for parking, remember to sanitise your hands before and after using the machine. Our parking machines are cleaned daily.
If you don't want to touch a ticket machine, you can use RingGo for contactless payment - all you need is your phone and a payment card.
Look out for others
We should all continue to look out for others.
This could mean offering to pick items up for others if you go out shopping or respecting social distancing when you’re out.
Things aren’t the same as they were before the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing and other safety measures might mean that things take longer.
Look after yourself
This is a stressful, confusing time and it is important to look after your mental health. Our mental health support pages have links to organisations that may be able to help.
Why shop locally?
The facts show that when people shop locally, they are not just supporting their favourite store, but the whole local economy.
Money stays in the area
The Federation of Small Businesses says that for every £1 spent with a local, independent business, between 50p-70p circulates back into that local economy.
Shopping online or out-of-town may save a little time or a little money, but for every £1 spent only 5p trickles back into the local economy.
Jobs stay in the area
Buying locally supports local traders, their suppliers and the people they depend on to run their businesses. It boosts the local economy, rebuilds confidence in the community and enables local businesses to prosper and grow.
Buying from local, independent businesses, be they shops, cafes, salons, restaurants or market traders means you each are doing you bit to keep our high street, town or village centre 'open for business'.
Successful town centres and High Streets means more jobs are created in your area, not just in retail but across the economy.
People come into the area to spend
As the town centre thrives, shoppers are drawn in from outside the immediate catchment area, enticed by the unique offer, which quickly matches local demand, and makes your community a ‘destination’.
How can you help?
Whether you’re popping out for coffee or looking for the perfect Christmas gift, start by looking locally.
Many local shops will also have online stores, so if you want the convenience of staying at home, look out for local businesses to buy from.
And while you’re out, make sure you stay safe.