Shoppers are being urged not to shop in large groups as new rules in town centres across Dudley borough go live yesterday (Monday June 15).
Non-essential retail are now allowed to reopen as the government continues with steps to gradually ease the lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak.
Dudley Council is working on a raft of measures to guide visitors in the town centres and ensure social distancing guidelines can be followed.
It includes markings on the pavements, barriers and other measures to help people stay safe while shopping.
Stourbridge High Street will also be pedestrianised between 9am and 4pm each day.
But the leader of the council today said it was vital that people did not shop in large groups, as it not only puts a bigger strain on shops trying to encourage people to queue two metres apart, but also increases health risks.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:
"We know it is frustrating and people are keen to return to normal life as quickly as possible, but people still need to protect themselves and others.
"We are already seeing an increase in the numbers of people coming to our town centres and shops are doing what they can to get people to queue and socially distance at the same time. If people come to the town centres with friends and family or gather in large groups, that not only makes this an impossible task, it also puts themselves and others under much greater risk. We are a long way off the point where shopping is a leisure activity again, it is very much still about keeping safe.
"Can I please urge people to think about how they get around our town centres and not to shop in large groups.
"It is essential that while people are in town, they follow the guidance in place, both from the council and the retailers."
Measures such as barriers and cones are now in town centres and an online resource hub is available on the council’s website, packed with useful maps, a video, and posters for traders to add to their premises.
The council is continuing to work closely with businesses to ensure staff and customers have the latest government advice.
For the latest advice on coronavirus visit www.dudley.gov.uk