Council welcomes businesses and residents back to the high street

16/06/2020, PR-9438

​Wakefield Council is working hard to welcome people back to the city and town centres across the district safely and in line with Government guidelines.

From Monday 15 June, most retail businesses can reopen, including the district's indoor markets, and the Council will be supporting them all to trade safely and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Council has provided businesses with a downloadable guide on what they need to do to reopen safely.

The guide includes what to do before a business can reopen, health and safety and cleaning checklists and a poster which must be displayed in all premises.

Residents and visitors will also notice changes around the city and town centres, including signage and markings to help them comply with social distancing guidelines.

Cllr Denise Jeffery
Cllr Denise Jeffery

​Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "This is an extremely critical time as businesses start to re-open and we start to welcome people back to our city and town centres once again.

"We are doing everything we can to support local businesses to not only reopen safely but to recover from what has been a very challenging time and we will continue to offer support for as long as is needed.

"We want people and businesses to be confident to return to our high streets and enjoy our wonderful, vibrant local economy and it is everyone's responsibility to follow the social distancing guidance and to be patient and considerate of others to keep ourselves, and everyone else, safe." 

Help for businesses:

  • Businesses can download the guide to reopening safely here

  • Advice for employers on social distancing during coronavirus can also be found on the government website and on Wakefield First.

  • For help regarding a specific business in Wakefield on interpreting the guidelines and how best to fit them into the workplace, please email (including for non-food related businesses) or call on 0345 8 506 506 and ask to speak with someone from Environmental Health.

  • Enforcement teams will be making sure that businesses are complying with the appropriate coronavirus measures. 

  • The Council will ensure that movement to the city centre is limited at peak times by communicating with larger city centre employers. Please follow @MyWakefield on Twitter for up to date traffic information.

  • Businesses can continue to access advice and support via Wakefield First. Contact the team on

Advice for residents and visitors:

  • Signage has been installed at the entrances to the district's highest footfall retail areas and on benches and lampposts to reinforce social distancing messages and the ground and pavements have been marked with social distancing markers.

  • Street marshals will be patrolling the busy areas to keep everyone safe and reinforce social distancing measures. Please speak with them if you have any concerns – they will be wearing tabards to make them identifiable.

  • Street cleaning in the city and town centres has been increased.

  • Moveable digital signs will be used across the district to communicate safety messaging and inform road users when not to visit if areas are too busy.

  • Residents are reminded that public transport is available but capacity is limited so please consider if your journey is necessary. It is compulsory to wear a face covering on all public transport and taxis.
Cllr Darren Byford
Cllr Darren Byford

​Cllr Darren Byford, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: "We are extremely proud of our local economy and understand that this has been a very challenging time for businesses of all types and size.

"We have supported our businesses by making the city and town centres as safe as we possibly can for residents, and I would encourage people across the district to return to the high street and support our local economy.

"We will continue to offer extensive support to any businesses who need it and we encourage everyone to stay safe and follow social distancing guidance."

The Government continues to be very clear that social distancing guidelines must be observed at all times when people are outside their home. Residents and visitors must keep themselves and others safe.

It is important that people should not leave home if they are unwell, as they should be following the 7-day self-isolation guidance, or if a member of their household is unwell and they should be following the 14-day stay at home guidance.

The Council has provided information and guidance on its dedicated coronavirus information web page at