Falmouth has set out how it intends to keep customers safe as the town slowly begins to reopen following coronavirus.

At an online meeting of traders this morning, detailed plans were unveiled for the immediate future of the next six weeks - described as the "pre-recovery phase" - as well as over the next six months and the longer term future in 12 months' time and beyond.

Business improvement district (BID) manager Richard Wilcox said: "It's fair to say that clearly there's not going to be a return to a way of life before Covid, moving forward. Safe distancing will be with us for a while, so this centres on how we plan for that.

"We need to collectively reassure people that Falmouth is safe and welcoming, and a fantastic place to come in to."

Changes in the coming weeks will include hand sanitiser stations around the town and there will be a strong focus on street cleaning and maintaining public spaces.

One of the main concerns of traders in the town is that customers are able to visit and queue at safe distances, and town manager Richard Gates said that one possibility being looked into was pavement stencils showing two-metre distances.

There was also talk of businesses linking up to offer shared delivery or collection points for goods, potentially at central locations such as The Moor or Events Square, or at shops where there was more space for safe queuing outside.

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This could prove particularly beneficial to businesses in narrower parts of the town, such as Arwenack Street and some parts of High Street.

The team is also in discussions with Cornwall Council about relaxing regulations to allow trading in these larger areas.

"It's about the trust factor," said Mr Gates. "There's been lots of surveys around the UK and people to get back into places but they want the trust and feeling that there are measures in place."

Traders raised concerns that even in the last few days, with the easing of lockdown restrictions, the town centre was seeing more traffic coming through, which was pushing people onto the pavements closer together.

Mr Gates said he was receiving calls almost daily over the last week, from both residents and businesses, asking what would be put in place to make people feel safe walking through the town centre.

He said the topic of pedestrianisation was one that historically had always split opinion and at the moment it was finding a balance between getting people - and deliveries - into the town but also keeping them safe.

Explaining that "safety is paramount," Mr Gates added that it may be that traffic is prevented from travelling through the town centre at certain times of the day, although this still needed to be looked at in much more detail.

Already, deliveries can only be made to businesses outside the hours of 11am until 4pm.

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Falmouth is one of five towns in Cornwall that have been chosen for additional measures to help manage social distancing and Mr Gates said the Town Team would be working closely with Cormac on these.

Further discussions still have to take place, but it is likely measures will include extra signs reminding people to keep a two-metre distance and practice good hygiene.

A new logo has been designed by Falmouth Town Team's events and marketing coordinator Emma Webster, to incorporate Falmouth's existing branding of coloured flags and yacht sails, and extending them into a rainbow - a symbol much-used during the pandemic as representing hope - to keep signs consistent.

Falmouth Town Team, which includes Mr Gates and Mr Wilcox, as well as Ms Webster and management assistant Ruth Abraham, have been working with others such as Falmouth's Smithick division Cornwall councillor Jayne Kirkham and surveyor Richard Thomas to put together the detailed plan for the future, which covers every aspect of regenerating the town from the effects of the pandemic.

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All traders will be offered free training workshops to help them with contactless payments and offering e-commerce - such as selling goods online, or through click-and-collect - as they discover new ways to trade.

There are also talks with Cornwall Council about an incentivised parking scheme to encourage people back into the town and Ms Kirkham said the authority was in a "difficult position" between losing a large chunk of its revenue and also realising how important it was to get town centres trading again.

She added that there had been a promise of government money to help towns get ready for social distancing, which had not been received yet.