Shoppers urged to support Sunderland traders after Plan B covid measures announced

City centre leaders are calling for people to support their local traders in the wake of new Covid restrictions.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 2:12 pm

The Government has just announced Plan B, which saw face coverings being made mandatory from Friday, December 10 at most public venues including shops, hairdressers, theatres and cinemas.

This will be followed on Monday, December 13, with a request for people to work from home if possible and two days later anyone entering larger venues will need to show an NHS Covid Pass.

It comes amid concerns over the Omicron covid variant and the potential for health services to become overwhelmed going into winter.

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Sunderland City Centre.

Sharon Appleby, chief executive of Sunderland BID, is concerned that what should be most profitable time of year may hit businesses hard, if people are too worried to leave home.

But she believes that by taking all of the necessary safety precautions – including wearing face coverings – people should try and support city businesses wherever possible.

“We know this is now becoming a worrying time for everyone yet again,” she said.

“But the restrictions aren’t there to stop people from going to shopping centres or from visiting leisure facilities, we just have to all be mindful of staying safe and taking the necessary precautions.

“It is so important that we still remember the shop local message and wherever we can buy from the businesses on our doorstep who have had such a difficult time over the past 18 months.”

Sharon also believes that one solution for people who may not yet have done their Christmas shopping is to buy the Sunderland Gift Card, which can be spent in more than 150 outlets and sees all the money going back into local business community.

“The gift card is a great way of supporting Sunderland businesses and it also comes with the benefit of the recipient being able to choose something they really want,” she said.

“It gave a huge boost to traders across all sectors last year and hopefully it will do that again if people can’t get out in person to shop or do have concerns.”

The Sunderland gift card can be purchased at

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