Victoria Centre boss statement on how centre will deal with Covid 'Plan B'

By Jake Brigstock

The director of the Victoria Centre has said the shopping centre is already prepared if the Government decides to go ahead with its Covid 'Plan B' strategy in the coming weeks and months.

'Plan B' is a backup plan by government for if the NHS comes under more pressure than it could handle because of Covid rates.

It would see measures such as Covid vaccine status certification and mandatory face mask coverings in some areas.

But Nigel Wheatley, centre director of the Victoria Centre, has said it's something that, largely, would not affect them, as they haven't eased on any of their ways of trying to keep Covid at bay.

Mr Wheatley said: "We haven't changed anything - hand sanitiser is there and we encourage you to wear your face mask.

"The cleaning regime is already in place and we haven't turned anything off, and why would we?

"Our cleanliness, the way we protect the team and our customer safety is absolutely the priority.

"You can't enforce face mask wearing, but my team and I wear them because that's our choice, and what we can do is ensure the environment is as clean and as safe as possible.

"I have found people have generally been respectful and they do understand and appreciate it."

Nigel thinks it's key people are 'sensible' and 'careful'.

He added: "I was speaking to someone who works in the centre and she was meeting her brother who she has not seen since 2019, and that's what you've got to remember, these are the stories of real people.

"I don't think it would be about massive moments, it's just about normality; being able to meet up and have a coffee, being able to do things we've not been previously allowed to do.

"I enjoy going to watch football, and tell me that thousands of people do not like being in the same area together.

"As long as you're sensible, that's the key thing and we do have to be careful."


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