FIFE Council is preparing for an increase in footfall in local town centres as lockdown gradually eases.

Businesses are starting to re-open again and the local authority is rolling out signage and markings to help with queuing and physical distancing on their footpaths and precincts.

The council will monitor the situation as shoppers return to each town centre to provide the right level of support to make sure everyone is kept safe.

Businesses and Fife Council are putting plans in place for shoppers and visitors returning in very different ways, with reduced capacity in business premises, queuing outside and the potential for some business to use outdoor space.

Cllr. Altany Craik, convener of the economy, tourism, strategic planning & transportation committee, said: “Fife towns are starting to get back in business. Many residents have missed their local space, and are looking forward to seeing people face-to-face, shop and spend their time in their local town centre.

"We’d like to reassure local people that we’re working with businesses to keep local people, staff and our communities safe.

“Whilst our towns may look and feel a bit different, we are all looking forward to a return of some sort of normality, bringing vibrancy back to the town and boosting our local economy.

"Our businesses have done an amazing job to make sure they can open safely and so I would encourage people to support them if they can.

“Some businesses have  already adapted by going online, offering click and collect or delivering services door-to-door. We’d like to thank Fifers for their patience, for spending local and staying safe by following the guidelines.

"It is important we all keep a safe distance from others, washing or sanitise our hands regularly and walk or cycle,  if that is possible.”

The council is hoping that volunteers will also be on hand over coming weeks to provide advice and support to visitors – they will be keeping a particular eye out for any visitors who might need a bit of extra help.

Fife Council recently launched a town centre survey for local shops and businesses on how the authority can help manage centres safely for everyone.