The buzz is starting to return to town centres as more businesses prepare to reopen.

Following news that social distancing is to reduce to one metre plus from July 4, more traders and customers in the area are getting excited at the opportunity to return to their high street shops.

Allerdale council’s environmental health team has been on hand to advise businesses in the area on how to keep everyone safe in the run up to this date.

The council is following Government guidance, available at which lays out the steps that businesses should follow in order to try and minimise the risk to workers and customers from coronavirus.

In Cockermouth, road signs on Station Road indicate that there is to be a new road layout for social distancing and businesses in the town have been working hard to make sure that measures are implemented ahead of the milestone July 4 date in order to keep both customers and workers as safe as possible while they are shopping.

Some essential businesses have managed to stay open since March 23 by putting the safety measures in place.

The Coffee Kitchen Bakery in Market Place has managed to stay trading throughout by operating a one-in the shop at a time policy and providing hand sanitiser inside and outside the shop.

For 4Play cycles in Market Place, who have not stopped trading, they say they have never been busier.

Hand sanitiser and social distancing is the new normal for them now.

Owner Adam Stitt said: “I’ve never known a time like it for being so busy.”

As cycling has gained in popularity nationally as an activity to do during lockdown, Adam has found that their suppliers have been struggling to keep up with demand.

He said at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic they put a barrier over the door and were able to trade at the door with customers, who left their bikes outside.

Customers bikes were sanitised with a product that is safe to the mechanics of cycles. This was done outside the store before they are brought in to be repaired.

Mechanic Stephen Vear has been kept very busy with repairs during the lockdown time and has been working hard to keep people riding.

Now that restrictions are more relaxed, the size of the store means it can accommodate up to two people inside at once, though they said that there is usually only one.

They have plenty of hand sanitiser available in the store for customers.

Adam said that he would like to thank customers for their support over the last few months “or we wouldn’t be here otherwise”.

Also taking the time to properly implement safety measures has been family run pet shop RTSN Huddart supplies in Main Street.

The family members have been working tirelessly over the last two weeks to get everything in place.

They have completely moved the position of their serving counter and have designed a ‘rainbow area’ where customers now stand to be served.

Customers are met with a hand gel sanitiser dispenser outside the shop, then on entering follow floor markings which point a safe one-way system around the store.

Following the markings will keep customers 2m away from each other, which owner Ralph Huddart wants to keep in place.

They have a full perspex barrier at the counter, protecting both staff and customers and offer contactless payment with the payment machine mounted to a cheese board, which can be offered safely to customers without staff having to touch it.

Ralph’s advice to other businesses getting ready to reopen is to: “Listen to the public and what they want. We try to provide what they want. Without customers we don’t have a business.”

Ralph said Facebook has been a huge success to them during the coronavirus pandemic. They did not use social media very much prior to the outbreak, but now as well as visiting the pet shop customers can also order remotely through their Facebook page or use their mobile number 07971 048 911 and they will do free deliveries.

He said he is glad they invested in a new van just before Christmas as they have been using it for deliveries nearly every day.