The Trafford Centre has issued advice to shoppers planning on visit the mall when it reopens after England’s national lockdown on Wednesday.
The popular shopping centre is asking visitors to plan ahead of their visit next month.
With the festive season fast approaching, the Trafford Centre is expecting to see an influx of shoppers looking to get their hands on gifts for their loved ones and tick off their Christmas lists early, so is therefore urging visitors to consider visiting the centre during quieter periods, which are generally earlier in the day and later in the evening.
The quietest shopping times are expected to be posted weekly via the Trafford Centre’s social channels.
A number of essential stores have remained open throughout the duration of the second lockdown, along with several hospitality establishments to provide takeout services, but all retailers are due to reopen from 10am on Wednesday 2nd December.
Some larger stores, including Selfridges, Debenhams, John Lewis, Boots, Primark and M&S, will open an hour earlier at 9am.
Speaking ahead of the centre reopening, Zoe Inman – Centre Director at The Trafford Centre – said: “It’s been an unusual year, but Christmas is still the highlight in our calendar, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back on Wednesday 2nd December.
“Since the start of this pandemic, we’ve had robust and adaptable plans to ensure the safety of everyone who visits and works at The Trafford Centre, and these strong safety measures will continue as non-essential retail opens again [but] we would recommend visitors spend a few minutes planning their visit to ensure they have the best experience possible.
“We know the Christmas season is going to be different this year, but we’d like to thank everyone in advance for doing their part.”
To help “make the centre a safe place for all”, the Trafford Centre asks that visitors remember to always follow marked routes and visit with their household / social bubble only.
Everyone that visits the centre, whether that’s to work or shop, will need to wear a face covering too.
The Trafford Centre defines a face covering as “something which safely covers the nose and mouth” and visitors can use reusable or single-use face coverings, as well as also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering, but these must all securely fit round the side of the face.
To ensure safe social distancing, the centre will be observing capacity limits and this means that customers may be asked to queue outdoors during busier periods and are advised to dress appropriately for the winter weather.
A number of car parks and entrances will also remain closed to help manage capacity.
Enhanced hygiene regimes will continue, with regular deep cleaning of key areas and touchpoints like escalators, toilets and keypads, and hand sanitation stands will also remain at entrances and throughout the centre.
The COVID-safety measures are hoped to “provide all visitors with additional reassurance” and further information can be found here.
Monday – Friday: 10am – 10pm
Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm
You can find more information ahead of visit via the Trafford Centre website here.
Army ‘on standby’ as UK prepares for more postal, rail, lecturer and nurses strikes in December
The armed forces are said to be “on standby” to help fill various roles ahead of a new raft of strikes across health, education and postal sectors this month.
Royal Mail workers, university lecturers and sixth-form college staff are committed to walking out over pay disputes on Wednesday, 30 November as various organised strikes persist across the country.
Countless employees from various industries who feel they are underappreciated and underpaid are set to join the ongoing rail strikes, as well as the thousands of nurses expected to follow suit on the picket line throughout December.
Now, as per the interim chief executive of NHS Providers Saffron Cordery, given the strikes’ proximity to Christmas, roping in the British military now seems likely. Dr Emma Runswick of the British Medical Association said there is there a simple way to put an end to mass industrial action: pay people fairly.
Speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning, Cordery confirmed that while the army is waiting in the wings to help fill relevant NHS roles, “the reality is if the army or other armed forces step in it will very much be at the margins rather than going out and driving ambulances”.
It remains unclear whether army personnel will be needed to combat the impending labour shortage across other industries. Regardless, the Communication Workers Union are going ahead will a series of strikes in December.
Having formally called on Royal Mail employees to join the national demonstrations for strike action on the following days:
Friday, 9 December
Sunday, 11 December
Wednesday, 14 December
Thursday, 15 December
Friday, 23 December
Saturday, 24 December
As for rail workers, RMT Assistant General Secretary Eddie Dempsey shared a similar sentiment, assuring that while the train drivers and the transport sector, in general, are standing firm, negotiations with Network Rail and other operators continue this week.
In addition to RMT members across 14 rail companies striking on 13-14 and 16-17 December, as well as 3-4 and 6-7 January, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said that staff working onboard and station roles will take action against Avanti West Coast on 13, 14, 16 and 17 December.
Meanwhile, the National Education Union (NEU) which represents 77 sixth-form colleges in England are also striking over pay, stating that in real terms, teachers have suffered a pay cut of around 20% since 2010.
Furthermore, the University and College Union (UCU) already held a 48-hour strike last week and is now set to hold another 24-hour walkout among university staff. As well as organising a large rally in London, union members across at least 150 different institutions will be joining the December strikes.
An MP took the mick out of Harry Maguire in Ghanaian parliament and we can’t get over it
Hello and welcome to another edition of ‘Headlines We Never Thought We’d Write’. In this week’s episode, a Ghanaian MP mocked Harry Maguire in the middle of parliament and we want answers.
Now, if you’re coming here looking for answers as to exactly why a random politician all the way over on the other side of the world, of all people, chose to mock Harry Maguire in Ghanaian parliament, we’ll stop you right there: we’re just as confused as you are.
That being said, let’s go on this journey together.
Here is Ghana’s Isaac Adongo, MP for the Bolgatanag Central, going in on the Sheffield-born United defender as a way of digging out the opposition:
As you can see in the rather surreal two-and-a-half-minute clip, Adongo is taking aim at the government’s Vice President and Head of the Economic Management Team, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, when he decides to use the 29-year-old centre-back as a simile.
The MP explains that despite being perceived as one of the best defenders in the league when the club signed him, he went on to become “the biggest threat at the centre of Man United‘s defence”. Ouch.
Adongo goes on to add that Maguire was “tackling Manchester United players and giving assists to [his] opponents”, joking that even if they missed “he would score for them” and dubbing Bawumia the “economic Maguire” for scoring own goals against his own nation. Deary me.