PEOPLE are being reminded they should shop on their own and only for essentials – after it emerged that nearly 100,000 people visited Halesowen’s Cornbow Centre in one week.

The figure for visitors only peaked at around 60,000 during the first lockdown.

Centre bosses are asking people to ensure they shop alone after the worryingly high figure for the week before last (week beginning Monday February 8) was revealed.

They are worried the figures for last week will be even higher will be even higher as children were off for half-term.

Under current lockdown rules, people should stay at home unless shopping for necessities or to exercise, or if they have to leave home to go to work.

If people do have to leave home, they should stay in their local area unless it is necessary to travel further for work.

Karen Wright, director of public health at Dudley Council, said: "The figures for the Cornbow are very concerning.

"We need to remind people that they should be staying at home unless it is absolutely necessary.

"This minimises social contact, and reduces chances of us spreading the virus.

"With an announcement from the Prime Minister imminent regarding the easing of the lockdown, we need to do all we can to put ourselves in a position where the government feels confident it can re-open the economy and schools.

"We all have a part to play in that, and I would urge people to think twice and consider whether trips are essential before leaving their homes. That applies to the whole borough and all our town centres of course, not just Halesowen."

Eve O’Connor, manager of the Cornbow Centre in Halesowen, said: "The Cornbow Centre has traded throughout the pandemic serving our local community safely.

"We would like to remind our customers under the current regulations they should only be shopping for essentials.

"Please shop alone if possible, this helps keep other customers and the essential key workers safe.

"Information on the current guidance during lockdown is available at"