Leeds City Council prepared for the new ‘normal’ post-lockdown by widening pavements and creating four-metre footpaths, as well as placing signs across the city centre to remind people of the importance of social distancing.
But reports on social media said one area of the city centre, in particular, made keeping 2m apart a bit difficult.
The ongoing roadworks on the Headrow are said to be making it tricky to social distance effectively. To see how people in Leeds were dealing with the disruption, reporter Mellissa Dzinzi took a walk through the city centre.
People are no longer being asked to stay at home and the Government has eased coronavirus lockdown rules so I took my first trip into Leeds city centre.
Although I probably won’t be going back for a while, I have to give praise to Leeds City Council for putting up social distancing signs and the measures they’ve taken to keep people safe.
I’ve been quite reluctant to venture out to town since everything reopened because of fear of catching the virus but because life must go on, so I decided to face my fears directly.
As I made my way to the top of town from the market, the council had placed signs encouraging people to keep the two metre distance away from each other – a move I highly agree with as part of the new normal and streets had been widened to promote this.
While the discussion of masks has received mixed responses from the public, I wore mine just to be on the safe side but I stuck out like a sore thumb.
I managed to walk around avoiding people as much as I can but once I started walking up The Headrow towards TK Maxx it became just impossible to social distance.
Roadworks are currently taking place outside the store therefore people have no other choice to pass by each other – a bit too close for comfort.
If you’re just like me and not ready to be around too many people, you should avoid making your way up The Headrow because it’s probably the worst street to socially distance on.
I also saw shops including Flannels, Superdrug and Boots now have social distancing posters placed in their windows for customers to adhere to, as well as one nail shop outside Kirkgate Market.
Trinity Leeds was even better to walk through – security guards were actively enforcing the one-way system which is currently in place for customers.
Lack of social distancing in Leeds was the only thing which I could criticize because everything all the precautions are there – but they cannot work if people don’t adhere to them.
But both can’t be done when you’re walking on The Headrow.
There was plenty of traffic on the road and scores of people dotted around the centre which for me showed that people are ready to go back to a more normal life.
I’ll probably try and go back out again in a couple of weeks once masks are mandatory in shops and supermarkets.