Fringe Box



Day One of Lockdown 2 – Streets Quiet But Busier Than Lockdown 1

Published on: 5 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 7 Nov, 2020

The town was quiet but not deserted on the first day of lockdown (Thursday, November 5) and the Christmas light installation continues regardless.

By Hugh Coakley

Guildford was quiet on day one of the second Covid-19 lockdown but busier than the deserted streets seen in March earlier this year.

With schools and colleges open and more shops operating than in the first lockdown, shoppers were relaxed but still maintained social distance.

Shops considered to be essential were open and others were said to be operating a ‘click and collect’ service. White Lion Walk and The Friary were both open for their essential shops including Robert Dyas, Purrfect Pet Care, Grape Tree Health Foods and The Glasses Shop.

Fast food shops and other food outlets were open for deliveries or takeaways only.

Other less obvious essential shops were the phone repair shop iSmash, in Market Street, open for repairs to smartphones in order for the owners to use NHS track and trace, and the cobblers and key cutters Timpson in North Street who reported a steady trade.

Sainsbury’s in the High Street and Marks and Spencer’s Food Hall were also open.

Tunsgate on the first day of lockdown 2.

Safety marshalls, Richard and Ian, were on duty in the town centre. They said their role was advisory only. Richard said: “It’s busier than we thought today but, as far as we can see, everyone is adhering to the rules.”

Covid Safety Marshals, Richard and Aaron.

Some shoppers were not convinced that safety marshalls were necessary or effective. One woman told The Guildford Dragon NEWS: “People should be using common sense. We shouldn’t need the marshalls at all.”

Following is a GBC video recorded earlier this week.

Four of GBC’s new Covid Marshals uncovered. From left to right: Richard, Aaron, Dariusz and Lewis.

And Ian, in his early 20s, said he wasn’t even aware that the council had employed safety marshalls. He added: “I don’t know if they can be effective. How can they tell if people are breaking the rules, they could be from the same household for instance.”

A GBC spokesperson said: “The Safety Marshals will provide a visible, reassuring presence for the public at peak times during the day and night, help to ensure that social distancing, face covering and hand-washing guidelines are followed and offer advice on staying safe.”

An empty Swan Lane. Food takeaway shops and Boots the Chemist were still operating.

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