Liverpool shoppers who have negative Covid result could get DISCOUNTS in stores under plan to lure people into city centre amid mass-testing drive
- City is currently piloting a mass testing scheme whereby everyone can get swab
- Infection rates have since tumbled and Liverpool was downgraded to Tier 2
- Hopes that the scheme could lure people back to the ailing high streets
Shoppers in Liverpool who can show a negative test result could enjoy store discounts under an initiative to reboot the high street in the run-up to Christmas.
The city is currently piloting a mass testing scheme whereby everyone can access a swab even if they are not displaying symptoms.
Infection rates have since tumbled and Liverpool was downgraded to Tier 2 when the national lockdown ended yesterday.
Businesses have now been called upon to keep this momentum going by slashing prices for anyone who can show they have tested negative in the past 24 hours.
Liverpool is currently piloting a mass testing scheme whereby everyone can access a swab even if they are not displaying symptoms
Businesses have now been called upon to keep this momentum going by slashing prices for anyone who can show they have tested negative in the past 24 hours
Marketing Liverpool, the city region’s destination marketing organisation, is working with the Liverpool BID Company and shopping centre Liverpool ONE, on the drive.
Their twin objectives are to encourage people to get tested while also luring people back to splash out in ailing stores. It is not known if any businesses have yet signed up to offer discounts.
Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, told MailOnline: ‘That could encourage people to the high street if they feel they are shopping in safer conditions.
‘But the devil is in the detail as there’s already a plethora of discounts across the industry at the moment.’
Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said: ‘The mass testing pilot ran for almost a month and during that time we’ve seen people who live, work and study in Liverpool get regular tests in order for us to keep the virus at bay.
Regular testing is crucial if we want to keep Liverpool in Tier 2 in the run-up to Christmas and for businesses across the city to reopen with confidence.
‘An incentive scheme such as this benefits everyone, it allows those with a negative lateral flow test result to safely enjoy our shops, restaurants and visitor attractions during December whilst bringing much-needed footfall back into our venues.’
Infection rates have subsequently tumbled and Liverpool was downgraded to Tier 2 when the national lockdown ended yesterday.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, said: ‘We’re asking businesses big and small, covering everything from cafes and restaurants to shops, salons and museums, to come forward and offer whatever they can.
‘We know how hard it is for businesses across the city so we’re not asking for massive discounts, just a small incentive which will hopefully get more people back enjoying the city’s venues in the safest possible way.’
Paul Askew, joint chairman of the Liverpool Hospitality Association, said the scheme could help the industry get back on its feet.
He said: ‘The idea of people getting a test before they visit a restaurant and then receiving some special added value upon showing a negative result is the perfect way to give people the confidence they need to return to our restaurants, knowing that they are as safe as possible.’
The retail and hospitality sectors have been among the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic as lockdown starved them of footfall.
Two high-profile retailers, Arcadia and Debenhams, both collapsed this week and put more than 20,000 jobs at risk.
As businesses in Liverpool are asked to cut prices, Mr Lim said: ‘The retail sector and the hospitality and leisure have had a torrid time any way so the onus should be on local authorities to encourage people back to the high street.’