CAR showrooms in Northwich have begun to reopen today and the first few visitors have now been through the door.

Dealerships were closed due to coronavirus back in March, but the Government has allowed them to reopen with social distancing measures in place from June 1.

Family-owned business Corkills sells Hyundai cars from its site in Middlewich Road, while its garage also does servicing.

Plenty of work has gone in to prepare the business for today to keep staff and customers safe.

“We have done everything to meet the guidelines,” said Paige McLoughlin, from Corkills.

“Everything is by appointment for servicing, and everyone gets a set time for when they can come and drop their cars off, so we don’t have too many people here at once.

“We have got sneeze guards, we have sanitiser, masks, gloves, bags for keys for customer handover, two-metre signs and a one-way system.”

Following a quiet spell for the industry, dealerships are now hoping that business can pick up in a safe environment.

“We have only brought one salesperson back in for the time being,” Paige added.

“We are going to monitor it and see how it goes, as and when things get busier.”

Nick Tomlin Cars, which has branches in Delamere and Winsford, is busy today having opened for servicing and sales.

“We have opened for everything and it has been manic,” said Nick Tomlin, who is the third generation of salesmen in the Tomlin family

“I reckon we are fully booked up for a good few weeks.

“We have got everything in place for social distancing. It has been hard work sorting it out but it is just something we will have to get used to.”

While his firm is busy at the moment, Nick is concerned that sales could take a hit when people are taken off the furlough scheme if businesses begin to make job cuts.

Ben Allman, co-manager at Allman Car Sales, returned to the Winnington Lane dealership today.

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Like other sites, Allman is kitted out with protective screens, masks and gloves – and Ben is hoping customers will follow.

He said: “We are just getting back into it really – cracking on as best we can.

“We had been popping in to keep on top of the cars, to keep washing them, but apart from that this has been the first day.

“We have had a few enquiries but that’s about it really. I hope it picks up – we have to hope really.”