Lerwick town centre businesses are committed to continuing as normal a level of service to our local community as is possible during the current Coronavirus crisis.

On Tuesday afternoon, Living Lerwick project team staff visited, and spoke to many businesses and the general consensus is that the town centre will continue business as normal with additional measures in place to protect staff and customers. Details of ongoing provision from over 70 businesses has been published on the Town Centre page of this website and this will be updated on a daily basis.

Cleaning regimes have been stepped up in all areas and customers are being asked to follow additional handwashing or sanitising procedures on entering premises where personal contact is likely, due to the nature of the business. In line with health board guidance, anyone who is feeling in any way unwell or has been in contact with someone else who does, is asked to stay away from public places and cancel any appointments they may have.

Many retailers already offer online purchasing with options for home delivery by Royal Mail or in-store collection. Those who don’t have online outlets, are offering personal telephone shopping services where goods can be paid for by telephone and posted or collection arranged. With Mother’s Day coming up this week, the retailers are keen to ensure that people can access gifts – flower deliveries are continuing as normal and the florists are ready to help customers receive their orders.

All food outlets are offering a takeaway service, with two providers signed up to the ‘HOPT’ app where customers can pre-order and pay for food, only being required to pop in and pick up the completed order at a set time. For the time being, most cafes and restaurants remain open, some on restricted hours.

Professional service businesses, both personal care and administrative are continuing. Some office staff are working from home, but email, telephone and in some cases video calling arrangements are continuing to ensure an ongoing service. Appointments which require personal contact are continuing for now, however any member of the public would prefer to cancel their planned appointment, should do so at their earliest convenience to allow small businesses to plan their staff time.

Project Manager for Living Lerwick, Emma Miller, said “These are unprecedented and challenging times for our community and our local businesses. It is essential we follow Government guidance and keep ourselves and our families safe, but we do also have to continue to live our lives.

“The measures that our local shops and businesses have taken to enable people to still access their goods and services, while remaining as safe as possible is to be commended. We don’t know how long this crisis will continue for, and while we, rightly, look after ourselves, I would also urge people to think local first when ordering anything. Our local economy, jobs and services will be the longer-term casualties of this situation and we can hopefully manage that with support from the community.”

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