IKEA Gateshead to reopen from June 1 - these are the safety measures you will see at the store

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Furniture giant IKEA has revealed plans to reopen its North East branch from next week – with an extensive range of safety measures in place to protect both staff and customers.

The North East site – on Pinetree Way, Gateshead – was previously used as a drive-through coronavirus testing centre for NHS staff after the store was forced to close due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Now, staff at the shop are gearing up for the ‘new normal’ with customers welcome back through the doors from Monday, June 1.

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An IKEA spokesman confirmed the opening date and also detailed a list of social distancing and safety measures which will be in place for those wishing to shop in store.

IKEA Gateshead opened in 1992.IKEA Gateshead opened in 1992.
IKEA Gateshead opened in 1992.
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IKEA Gateshead site to be used as COVID-19 test centre for NHS staff

These include cashless payments, continued closure of play areas and new ‘social distance wardens’ who will help customers navigate a new one-way system instore.

The spokesman added: “We are also encouraging customers to come to store prepared with ready-made lists and their own bags, and to ensure that in making their way to the store that they follow all Government advice.”

IKEA’s sit-down restaurant and play areas will remain closed for the moment, while planning services for bedroom furniture, living rooms and kitchens will take place online only.

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The IKEA bistro, situated near the store’s exit, will operate a contact-free takeaway service.

Here are some of the changes IKEA has made to ensure customer and co-worker safety:

*Limited numbers of customers will be granted entry in store at any one time. In line with guidance, only one adult and one child per household will be permitted.

*Restricted car parking as well as car park management. There will be security in place and a system for closing off access if it is full.

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*Social distance wardens throughout the store to help customers find their way around the new one-way system and ensure social distancing is followed.

*Reduced shopping hours

*Additional hand sanitiser facilities and more frequent deep cleaning routines for bags, trolleys, bathrooms, rest areas, equipment and touchscreens.

*Screens in key areas, including checkouts, service points and customer returns.

*Cashless payments – only card and contactless will be accepted

*Contactless Click and Collect service

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