Your questions answered
Further information on how our centre will be operating at this time.
Do I need to wear a face mask/face covering?
Yes, you must wear a face covering in the shopping centre from Friday 24 July. Anyone not wearing one, could be refused entry to the centre or asked to leave. Naturally, anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from covering their face will be exempt, as will children under the age of 11.
What type of face covering do I need to wear?
A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.
Will you allow people to come into the centre if they don’t have a face covering?
No, unfortunately not. We will be following the Government’s guidance and only allowing people to enter the shopping centre if they are wearing a face covering. Our mall team will make sure everyone has their face covering on. If you are not wearing one, our teams will unfortunately have to refuse entry to comply with the Government’s Guidelines. People with medical conditions, children under the age of 11 and people with disabilities will be exempt.
I have a health condition/hidden disability- do I need to wear a face mask/face covering?
As per the Government’s guidelines, you do not need to wear a face covering if you have certain health conditions.
Do I need to bring evidence of my health condition if I have a face covering? e.g. letter from doctor
We will not be asking for evidence of your health condition before entering. We do ask however that you just let our friendly staff know that you are exempt on medical grounds, so they do not refuse you access.
Will you supply a face covering for visitors if they need one?
Unfortunately, we will not be supplying face coverings to our visitors.
How will you enforce this?
Anyone not wearing a face covering could be refused entry to the centre or asked to leave. Naturally, anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from covering their face will be exempt, as will children under the age of 11. If we feel that people are deliberately breaking the guidelines and risking the safety of those around them, we won’t hesitate in asking them to leave the centre or call the police if we must.
Surely, I could just pretend to have a medical condition?
Yes, you could, however, we’re asking everyone to do their part in helping to defeat the virus by following the instructions provided by our teams and the safety information that is widely available. If we feel that people are deliberately breaking the guidelines and risking the safety of those around them, we won’t hesitate in asking them to leave the centre or call the police if we must.
Are you supplying your staff with face coverings?
Yes, all our teams have already been issued with face coverings.
I work in one of your stores, do I need to wear a face covering?
Yes, everyone who enters and walks around the mall must always wear a face covering, whether that’s for shopping or to get to your place of work.
What about the in-mall units, will people running those need to wear face coverings?
Yes, they will. Anyone who comes into the centre for work or to shop will need to wear a face covering.
Is Eldon Square remaining open with its usual opening hours or have they changed?
From 31 December, the centre will be open for essential services only. Eldon Square’s opening hours are 9am – 6pm Monday – Wednesday, 9am – 8pm Thursday, 9am – 6pm Friday and Saturday and 11am – 5pm Sunday. Store times will vary so please check with the retailer direct. Please visit their website for more information.
How is Eldon Square going to keep the centre safe?
We are doing everything we can to make sure our centre is a safe place to visit and work. We have social distancing measures throughout the centres, including our entrances, malls, toilets, facilities and services, food courts and back of house areas. Hand sanitiser is available throughout our centre and at the entrances, for use as people come inside and throughout their visit with us. Soap and hot water are also available in our toilet facilities and we ask that people wash their hands regularly. We are asking everyone to play their part too and help us defeat the virus by following the instructions provided by our teams and the safety information that is widely available in our centre and on online channels. And to stay at home if you are displaying any Covid-19 symptoms.
What shops are going to stay open during lockdown?
From Thursday 31 December the centre will be open for essential retail and services only. For the full list of stores open at this time, click here. Please check individual store websites before leaving home.
Are you going to be giving visitors a time limit to be in the centre?
No, however our teams will be managing the number of visitors inside our centres and we will have controls in place at entrance and exit points to help us do that effectively. Visitors can still very much expect our usual, warm welcome, but it’s important to monitor capacity very carefully and stay within the recommended limits. It is likely therefore that we will have a queuing system outside centre entrances to regulate footfall. All visitors well need to maintain a 2m social distance.
Are you implementing a rule of one customer per family or can we visit as a family? Can I bring my kids with me?
Government guidance says that where possible customers should shop alone or with members of their household, unless they need specific assistance. If you are planning to bring your children with you, please make sure that they also follow the social distancing guidelines. The number of people allowed into centre will also depend on the current capacity of the centre at any given time to allow for social distancing, so where possible try to limit the numbers in your group.
What about the restaurants? Will they be open for business?
Yes, many of our restaurants and cafes will remain open for click & collect and/or takeaway. We would ask visitors to check the relevant brands websites to see what’s available.
Have Eldon Square staff been specially trained to manage this new way of shopping?
Yes, all staff have been through specific guidance/training to carry out their duties in the new way of working.
What sort of PPE will staff be wearing in the centre?
Face visors and masks will be worn by our waste/environmental teams where appropriate.
Will Eldon Square be providing any type of PPE for visitors, like masks and/or gloves?
No, as this is not a requirement by Government. However, all our visitors are welcome to wear face coverings and gloves whilst in the centre.
What steps will Eldon Square take if people do not observe social distancing guidelines?
We will be asking everyone who visits our centres to follow official guidelines, the instructions provided by our teams as well as the safety information that will be widely visible and available. Our teams are familiar with the guidance and will be reminding people to keep a safe distance. Anyone refusing to do so will be asked to leave the centre immediately. If we feel that people are deliberately breaking the guidelines and risking the safety of those around them, we won’t hesitate to call the police. At times like these we simply cannot allow the actions of individuals to potentially threaten the safety of everyone else.
What will you do if one of your retailers doesn’t follow social distancing guidelines?
We have been and will continue to work closely with all our brand customers during the lockdown period to support them with their re-opening plans. However, if there were to be an issue, all our brands have a requirement within their lease to provide legal compliance, so we would insist they follow the guidance or further action would/could be taken against them.
Are we putting in place any key worker provisions i.e. designated shopping hours, queue jumping etc? If not, can you explain why?
We are looking at this on a centre basis and will be something that we will need to work with our brand customers. As soon as we have more details on this, we will share with you via the centre website.
What will we have in place for visitors with mobility issues who would ordinarily need the use of seating whilst visiting us?
Shopmobility is currently unavailable in Eldon Square. Alternatively, you can access Newcastle City Council Shopmobility on level 4 of Eldon Garden shopping centre, adjacent to Eldon Square. You can contact Shopmobility direct on 0191 261 6176.
In order to discourage people gathering and to support social distancing measures, seating has been removed from the malls. We know that for some of our less mobile visitors this could be a problem for them. We will have team members throughout the malls to help, and we would ask anyone who is in need of additional support to speak with a member of the team.
Will I still be able to buy intu gift cards?
From Friday 9 October 2020 the centre will no longer be part of intu. As a result, from Friday 9 October 2020 you will no longer be able to buy intu gift cards or exchange intu Metrocentre Gift Cards in centre. The intu Eldon Square Gift Card is valid for a year from purchase and existing cards can still be spent in stores at intu Eldon Square until the expiry date on your card is reached. intu Gift Cards are issued by EML Payments Europe Limited (EML) who are the parent company of Flex-e-Card Limited, the UK-based provider of gift card services to intu – you will see Flex-e-Card’s name on the reverse of intu gift cards. All funds associated with these cards are held in a designated client account under the control of EML only. EML settles with Mastercard on a daily basis for all transactions that occur on these gift cards. This process is entirely independent of intu and will continue to happen regardless of ownership or control of intu. EML’s obligation is to its cardholders as per the terms and conditions of its cards, and to Mastercard as per its membership agreement. As a result, there is no risk to any retail or leisure occupier of any intu centre to continue to accept intu Gift Cards, as all funds are entirely separate from those held by the intu business.
Will Click & Collect be available when the centre starts to gradually re-open?
Unfortunately click & collect services have been paused during lockdown and will continue to remain unavailable for the time being.
Are customer service desks open?
Our Customer Service Desks near Fenwick, Debenhams and Grey’s Quarter will be temporarily closed. If you have a query while in centre, please just ask a member of staff on the mall who will be happy to help!
How do I know which retailers will be open before I visit the centre?
From Thursday 31 December the centre will be open for essential retail and services only. For the full list of stores open at this time click here. Please check the specific brand’s individual website for more information or contact them directly.
Do you know when other retailers will be opening up and when all of the shops, restaurants and leisure spaces will be back open?
Following the latest Government announcement Eldon Square will be open for essential retail and services only until further notice. Please check with the specific brand’s website for more information.
Are you taking specific measures on your air handling units before opening?
Our centre air handling plant has continued to run on a phased/rotation basis providing full fresh air whilst taking advantage of the low external air pollution and air quality which is at its best levels for many years. All building service plant will be set back to normal operating hours as soon as we have the go ahead from Government to begin a phased reopening. All air filters will continue to be changed as required with any major service visits being undertaken as necessary.
Will you be temperature checking people as they come into the centre?
Temperature checking is not part of the Government’s guidelines and isn’t an effective way of screening people for coronavirus. Using surface temperature checks i.e. just on the skin rather than in ear can provide inaccurate results. A surface temperature for example can be caused by other factors not related to the virus. However, please be reassured that we are doing everything we can to make sure our centres are safe places to visit and work. Some of our brands may be using temperature checks on their entrances, but please speak directly to them for more information. If you do feel unwell or are showing any of the COVID-19 symptoms, please do not visit the centre. Please help us to ensure that everyone is as safe as possible.