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‘Start Christmas shopping early’ to avoid Covid issues

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ISLANDERS are being encouraged to start their Christmas shopping early to avoid potential social-distancing issues in the run-up to the festive period.

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Maintaining a one-metre distance from others is likely to be difficult during the busy winter shopping season, when town’s narrow streets become crowded.

And it would become even more problematic if the distancing rule increased to two metres in the event of a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Vicky Trehorel, town centre manager, said that Islanders could help to ease the pressure on town streets by starting their Christmas shopping now.

She issued the call as Islanders started to receive their £100 Spend Local vouchers from the government.

‘It’s been a unique year to say the least and some extended cheer this year won’t hurt. For the safety of shoppers I think it would be beneficial to start your shopping earlier this year and plan your trips to town around quieter times,’ she said, adding that businesses should not become complacent towards their Covid-19 safety measures.

‘We need to ensure shoppers are given the most reassuring experience possible so that they feel safe when they come into town.’

Gerald Voisin, owner of Voisins Department Store, also urged shoppers to plan ahead saying that the busy festive period was ‘full of uncertainties’.

He said: ‘Christmas is going to be challenging and distancing rules could be a big problem if we move to two metres.

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‘We will definitely be open for late-night shopping seven days a week and I would encourage customers to plan their trips to town so they are not out in the cold waiting to get in.’

Mr Voisin also warned that stock to some departments might be limited due to ‘businesses further along the supply chain shutting down’.

And Mr Voisin urged Islanders to ‘do something special’ with their £100.

‘Do something you wouldn’t normally do with the money. Use it as extra expenditure and treat yourself to an item, a meal or a day out,’ he said.

Miss Trehorel echoed those comments and said the spend local cards should be put towards ‘wants rather than needs’.

She added: ‘I urge everyone to spend it on non-essentials and use it as a treat, such as a nice piece of new clothing, a spa day or a nice meal.’

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