CHRISTMAS shoppers can now check how busy the Westgate Centre is online before going.

In an effort to reduce the crowds as non-essential retail reopens next week for the first time in a month, bosses have set up a system so people can check when the Westgate is nearing capacity.

Shoppers will also have to wear face masks, follow a one-way system and queue up outside shops when they get too busy.

Floor signs and stickers will remind people to keep a 2m distance and hand sanitiser stations will be refilled ready for use.

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Westgate director Brendan Hattam said: “Safety is our highest priority.

"We’re working hard to ensure we adhere to all government guidelines at Westgate and will be continuing to take a robust approach to cleanliness and hygiene.

"As well as the thorough cleaning of the centre, we will be carefully managing the capacity of the centre and individual stores, and masks will continue to be mandatory throughout the centre.

"We will continue to update our website and social media platforms to keep guests up to date with store opening times and offers, along with the best time to visit the centre when we’re nearing capacity.

"While Christmas shopping will certainly be different this year, we want it to be as safe and enjoyable as possible.”

Buzz Gym at the Westgate will also be open, even if Oxford is put into Tier 3.

Before November 5, the city had just been put into Tier 2 - meaning that residents could not meet up with anybody from outside their household or support bubble.