Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen has announced that it expects to officially reopen on July 13.

The final date will be confirmed following the Government’s next review, which is due on July 9.

During lockdown, the centre’s essential stores including Marks and Spencer have remained open.  

Most stores in the Shopping Park at Union Square, as well as New Look, with street access off Civic Square will reopen on Monday June 29. It includes brands like Next and JD Sports.

It will not be possible to walk through the centre until July 13.

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Some restaurant brands will continue to be available for takeaway and delivery, with hospitality operators expected to reopen from July 15.

The independent inspection organisation Bureau Veritas has been appointed to analyse and approve the reopening plans of all of Hammerson’s flagship destinations, including Union Square. 

A range of measures to keep people safe have been introduced including a one-way system, signage enhanced cleaning processes, live monitoring of footfall and queueing outside when required to manage capacity.

There will also be fixed hand sanitiser stations throughout the destination and customers will be encouraged to use contactless payment with retailers for transactions.

Ryan Manson, general manager at Union Square, said: “It has been a really challenging time for everyone, and we are hugely grateful to the key workers that have done so much over the past few months.

"At Union Square, we’re working really hard to make sure we can safely reopen the shopping park on June 29, and the rest of the centre on July 13. We ask that people be patient with us though, as the way we shop is going to be different for a while, and visits might take longer than usual. We can’t wait to reopen, and to welcome back our customers.”

Mark Bourgeois, managing director UK & Ireland at Hammerson, said: “Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of all of our customers, retailers and colleagues. We have considered carefully how to create an operating environment that allows the centre and brands to reopen safely.

“Throughout our destinations we will display clear information for consumers on how to shop in this new environment, and we also have technology in place allowing us to monitor visitor numbers, to ensure there are never too many people in our spaces at any one time.”

Customers must treat shop staff with respect and follow their instructions when more retailers reopen next week, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister said shopping trips will be "a bit different" in future than before the coronavirus lockdown.

From Monday, retail premises of all sizes can reopen if they have outdoor entrances, while indoor parts of shopping centres are expected to reopen on July 13.

Speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday, the First Minister said she would visit a shop on Friday to see how new safety measures will work.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Shops that are reopening on Monday, and that will be the vast majority of shops that have been closed up until now, must ensure that appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place."

New guidelines on safety measures for shops will be published on Friday, she said.

Estate agency Savills said it has traded profitably first half of year, although at lower levels than previous expected due to the pandemic.

Shares nudged lower after it said that the outbreak significantly hit the number of transactions it reported during the period after house viewings were halted.

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Nevertheless, it said it outperformed its own coronavirus forecasts in each region it operates in.

Savills stress that its overall performance for the rest of 2020 will be highly dependent upon the extent to which regional markets are able to recover from the virus.

Shares were down 1.6% at 817p.

Car-selling group Auto Trader said it has been "encouraged" by the bounce-back in demand for used cars despite an "uncertain" outlook.

Shares in the business nudged lower as it promised no final dividend for the past financial year in a bid to preserve cash following the coronavirus pandemic.

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It came as the company hailed a solid annual trading performance which saw it increase pre-tax profits by 3.8% to £251.5 million for the year to March 31.

Looking ahead, it said market demand has reached high levels in the first quarter of the current financial year, and used car pricing has remained strong as retailers reopen their showrooms.

Shares were down 1.2% at 519.4p.