A popular bakery chain has announced that it will re-opening some of its stores on a trial basis.
Greggs, headquartered in Newcastle, has more than 2,000 outlets across the country, including one in Aycliffe town centre, and will trial trading from 20 of those next week.
The company has said that it will open the stores on Monday (May 4), with shorter trading hours and a limited product range.
A Greggs statement said: “We want to play our part in getting the nation back up and running again, so we are planning to conduct a limited trial with volunteers to explore how we can reopen our shops with new measures in place that keep our colleagues and customers as safe as we can when we reopen at scale.”
Chief executive Roger Whiteside added: “The key principle in the plan is that we must accept that when we open, we will not be able to operate normally.
“We must have new social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
“We must be acutely aware that there remains a great deal of uncertainty in how our fight against this virus will develop, and should the situation worsen for any reason, we may be required to stop or delay the implementation of our plan.
“However, sharing our plan as soon as we are able to, should give us all a framework to base our future preparations upon.”
The company plans to have 700 stores open from June 8, with all 2,000 stores re-opening on July 1, when the government job retention scheme expires.