A warm welcome awaits in Hatfield and WGC

Local shops and businesses welcomed customers back on Monday (12 April) as both Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield town centres reopened for non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality, leisure, and personal care.

Council officers hold a welcome back banner in Hatfield town centre

The council and WGC Business Improvement District (BID) are encouraging people to shop locally and safely, supporting businesses to reopen by providing hand sanitiser, social distancing materials and guidance on operating in a COVID-secure way.

Whilst many will have defaulted to using large online retailers during lockdown, supporting local retailers creates jobs, making the borough a better place to live and work and creating a healthy economy for the community.

Covid Marshals will be out and about in both town centres to talk with people and make sure they understand the importance of continuing to socially distance, wear face masks and wash or sanitise hands regularly.

Ka Ng, Chief Executive of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, said:

I'd like to thank residents for continuing to support their local high street and helping businesses get back on their feet. We want our businesses to stay open so it's just as important we take this next step safely. This means continuing to be patient with one another, giving each other space and practicing good hygiene until we've beaten Covid-19 for good.

Mandy Boxer, chair of the Hatfield Traders Association, said:

It's going to be a tough year ahead but we're certain that our town can recover. We need to work on gaining back our customers who may have changed how they shop throughout the lockdown, but Hatfield has a fantastic community spirit and we're confident that people will shop local to support their town and small businesses. We look forward to welcoming you back through our doors. Please shop local.

OJ Daya, Chair of the WGC BID said:

This lockdown has been tough on our local economy. The WGC BID has worked together with the local businesses to ensure a safe re-opening of the town. We have employed extra BID Ambassadors to support businesses and members of the public feel safe when they return to the town. We have all missed seeing our customers and are looking forward to getting back to normal. We need your support more than ever.

See more on Hatfield and WGC town centre businesses.