Designer secondary Grey Street Grainger Town SECONDARY2

Updated on 26 November 2020 

Isn't it strange how the every day becomes a novelty? This year - we have all learnt to appreciate the simpler things in life like popping out for a spot of retail therapy. The coronavirus full lockdown earlier in the year meant that keen shoppers had to abstain from shopping on the high street for approximately 80 days and then with further restrictions and changes, we've had to adapt to how we shop to make sure it is safe and responsible.

Following Lockdown 2.0, shops in NewcastleGateshead will reopen again safely and welcome back fashionistas, self-proclaimed interior designers and happy shoppers to indulge in a little retail therapy in the lead up to Christmas. Under Tier 3 restrictions across the North East, all shops including markets are able to reopen if they follow strict covid safe guidelines. New measures are in place inside shops and on the high streets across NewcastleGateshead and shopping hubs in the region to ensure that despite tough restrictions, you can still shop.

It is important to remember that it is strongly advised to limit your journeys and avoid travelling on public transport unless totally necessary. Consider using your local high streets to avoid a busy town centre. However, if you choose to go into Newcastle and Gateshead to shop, it is vital to visit safely to help prevent the spread of coronavirus by planning ahead and avoiding peak times.

Newcastle City Council, NE1 and NGI are working to together to bring Christmas spirit to Newcastle city during these difficult times. We need to support each other and local businesses and celebrate the festive period safely. So please remember when you are in the city centre or any other busy outside area across Newcastle and Gateshead – hands, face, space.

Consider using our Virtual Christmas Market to continue your Christmas shopping online!

Read on for our guide to how to shop safely and maintain social distancing in NewcastleGateshead. 

Which shops have reopened in NewcastleGateshead?

Under Tier 3 restrictions, all shops are allowed to open - this includes all shops that are considered 'non-essential' such as fashion, homeware, gift stores. A full breadth of shops have reopened responsibly and within government guidelines across the region - ensuring a fun but safe shopping experience for both customers and staff.

Popular shopping centres Eldon Square in Newcastle city centre and Metrocentre in Gateshead have also safely reopened with an increased number of their shops and traders now open for business. Grainger Market, the city's indoor market, which has been running a delivery service during the lockdown, is also open for shoppers to drop in. Shoppers might find that a selection of retailers still offer click and collect services too. Grainger Market also has an online delivery service for people who don't wish to go into Newcastle.

Fenwick Newcastle - a historic staple in the Newcastle shopping scene – continues to provide a safe shopping experience and once you have safely enjoyed this year's Fenwick Christmas Window display, you can head on in to shop in the full breadth of stores within the department store including Fenwick Food Hall.

Parking in Newcastle City Centre 

If you are driving to get to Newcastle city centre to your Christmas shopping, please consider these pointers for Newcastle City Council to help you with your experience as well as keep yourself and others safe: 

  • Please aim for one of the less busy car parks. You could even consider using the taxi ranks on Hood Street and Shakespeare Street as parking spaces.
  • Use contactless payment methods – such as pay by phone – where possible.
  • Additional cleaning throughout city council car parks is taking place to keep people safe.
  • Parking staff will be directing drivers at the main multi-storey car parks to help them to find a space as quickly as possible.
  • Alternative car parks, which are all between five and 15 minutes’ walk from the main shopping areas, include Grainger Town, Oxford Street, Dean Street, Manors, Quayside, Claremont Road, St Georges’, Civic Centre and Stadium (NUFC).
  • There are seven multi-storey car parks which are part of the Alive after Five scheme, which means people can park for free after 5pm Monday to Saturday.
  • The seven multi-storeys which are part of Alive after Five are Grainger Town, Eldon Square, Eldon Garden, Oxford Street, Dean Street, Manors and Quayside car parks.

What safety measures are in place around social distanced shopping?

If you need to go into Newcastle city centre or another high street for your shopping, please make sure to avoid public transport and consider walking or cycling to your local high street instead.

  • There is a one-way pedestrian system around the city, particularly along major high streets like Northumberland Street to help visitors practice social distancing and move around the city. You will need to walk up one side of the street and down the other.
  • Maintain social distancing at all times with staff and other customers.
  • A queuing system may be in place outside shops to help monitor how many people are allowed into shops and stagger business.
  • Shops and businesses will undoubtedly be different from before the lockdown and may not have all areas open or request you follow a one-way system within the shop as well as limiting the number of visitors allowed inside the shop at one time.
  • There will be additional screens at tills and service points.
  • Shops will be encouraging contactless payment to help limit the spread of covid-19.
  • You are encouraged to shop alone which will help with social distancing and managing crowds.
  • Before you head into Newcastle city centre, check out how busy Northumberland Street and Grey Street are thanks to Newcastle City Council and NE1's app, How Busy is Toon? 

Things to consider before you visit NewcastleGateshead to shop

  • It’s mandatory to wear a face covering inside shops.
  • Shop opening hours may have changed so we recommend checking before you travel.
  • Try to avoid arriving at the beginning of the day and busy periods to avoid unnecessary queuing before a shop opens. 
  • Ensure you continue to regularly wash your hands and use hand sanitiser where washing isn’t possible.
  • Please don’t leave the house if you have coronavirus symptoms or suspect you have coronavirus.
  • Expect to queue - so be patient!
  • Although on the whole, guidelines and procedures within each shop will be the same - there may be some variation within different businesses. Please familiarise yourself with individual websites to make sure you know what to expect before you visit and respect staff who are helping you stay safe in store. 
  • It is inevitably going to be busier in the lead up to Christmas so please be patient, consider what time you go shopping and pay attention to the restrictions and procedures in place within each shop.

We will continue to update our website with information as the situation evolves. Take care.

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