COVID-Secure Support Teams to help towns thrive in the festive season
The council has partnered with Hertfordshire Police and the Welwyn Garden City Business Improvement District (BID), in an initiative to help Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield town centres be safe and enjoyable places to shop in the run up to Christmas.
During December, the COVID-Secure Support Team of five will be on hand across the two town centres, to provide information and guidance to the public and businesses on the importance of maintaining social distancing, wearing face coverings in stores unless exempt, queueing safely and frequently sanitising or washing hands.
They will also be around to help people queue with confidence while enjoying the festive attractions that are lighting up the town centres this Christmas, including the Christmas trees and giant Teddy, Snowman and Top Hat in Hatfield and the Christmas Trail in WGC, featuring the giant Christmas Teddy, the new Penguin Music Box and the Magical Fountain.
Councillor Bernard Sarson, Executive Member Regeneration, Economic Development and Partnerships, said:
It's been incredibly tough for our town centres this year and we want to do everything we can to support them during the Christmas shopping season, ensuring residents and visitors can shop local with confidence and help our traders thrive this Christmas.
Councillor Fiona Thomson, Executive Member Governance, Public Health and Climate Change, said:
People want to feel safe when they visit our town centres and play their part to be safe too. Our friendly COVID-Secure Support Team is there to provide that reassuring presence, answering any questions and on hand to provide advice and support to businesses and shoppers.
As well as ensuring Hatfield and WGC are COVID safe, the team is also partnering with the police with regard to people's personal safety, keeping on top of any local issues and handing out free wallet and purse bells to help shoppers keep their valuables safe to deter pickpocketing.
Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector, Simon Mason said:
We know this year has been really difficult and many of you will be feeling anxious as you go about your Christmas shopping. As we return to some form of normality, I hope that shoppers and businesses feel reassured by these measures that we've put in place with the council. In spite of the challengers of the pandemic, we are as determined as ever to ensure that Welwyn Hatfield remains a safe place.
Please do make use of the freebies on offer - purse and wallet bells are an excellent deterrent for pickpockets - and if you do become the victim of a crime, don't hesitate to report it by calling the non-emergency number 101. Remember, in an emergency or if the crime is in progress always call 999.