Designer secondary Grey Street Grainger Town SECONDARY2

Updated on 7 April 2021

Isn't it strange how the every day becomes a novelty? Over the past 12 months - we have all learnt to appreciate the simpler things in life like dropping into the city centre for a spot of retail therapy. Shops selling the latest fashion, gifts, homeware and much more are now open in NewcastleGateshead and ready to welcome you back safely.

From 12 April, shops in NewcastleGateshead reopened safely and welcomed back all you fashionistas, self-proclaimed interior designers and happy shoppers to indulge in a little retail therapy. The safety measures that we have all become familiar with are in place inside shops and on the high streets across the city centre and shopping hubs in the region.

Whether you shop local on your high street or head into Newcastle and Gateshead to rediscover the city centre, it is vital to visit safely and to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Read on for our guide to how to shop safely and maintain social distancing in NewcastleGateshead.

Which shops have reopened in NewcastleGateshead?

From 12 April 2021, a full breadth of shops will reopen responsibly and within government guidelines across the region - ensuring a fun but safe shopping experience for both customers and staff. Keep your eye open for shops sporting their Covid-Secure tick accreditation from Newcastle City Council.

One of the first department stores to reopen in NewcastleGateshead was Fenwick Newcastle - a historic staple in the Newcastle shopping scene – which made a number of adjustments to how it operates in a coronavirus world. 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.

Parking in Newcastle City Centre 

If you are driving to get to Newcastle city centre to do your 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 choose 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.
  • Sunday opening hours across most shops have changed with many stores opening at 11am.
  • 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. 
  • Consider what time you go shopping and pay attention to the restrictions and procedures in place within each shop.
  • Be mindful that there may be a limit to access to public facilities like toilets.

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

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