‘Drink responsibly and safely’ – councils remind pub-goers

By July 7, 2020NEWS

Pub goers are being reminded to drink and socialise safely to minimise the risk of infection from coronavirus so that everyone can enjoy the new going-out normal.

District councils have been spearheading the alfresco revolution by making high streets and town centres as COVID-secure as possible, by expanding outdoor spaces to help accommodate food and drink outlets.

However, with many pubs reopening today, along with restaurants and cafes, the District Councils’ Network is urging members of the public to take extra care and caution, as the lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

District councils are the authorities responsible for high streets and town centres and have introduced a range of measures to keep visitors safe while transforming the environment into an alfresco space.

Following the changes to licensing and planning rules, districts have been creating outside space and adapting environmental health for restaurants, cafes and pubs to increase capacity.

They have also been helping marshal movements with floor markings and signage in the high street, carrying out more frequent street cleaning and creating more pedestrianised spaces.

With high streets and town centres reopening successfully thanks to the co-operation of the public on 15 June, district councils want to see this continue with the reopening of the hospitality sector.

For example:-

  • Lancaster City Council is working closely with businesses to prepare for the reopening, with a number of new safety measures in place. It is reminding the public to follow the government guidelines and take the necessary precautions to prevent a second spike, and warning that it will not be business as usual.
  • Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council are deploying information officers and licensing teams in towns and villages to check that rules are being observed. High visibility patrols will form part of multi-agency measures to support the reopening of pubs, restaurants and other businesses.
  • Cambridge City Council is urging the public to plan ahead and make bookings for city centre visits this weekend. Around 50 per cent of restaurants, bars and other food and drink businesses are expected to reopen today.
  • Pendle Council is asking residents and visitors to play their part in the reopening and reminding everyone not to forget social distancing and hand hygiene. The council has produced a COVID-19 Secure risk assessment to help them identify, control and minimise the transmission of coronavirus between staff and customers.

Cllr Mark Crane, District Councils’ Network lead member for stronger economies, said:

“Just because the pubs are reopening doesn’t mean we are out of the woods just yet. There remains a real risk of the disease spreading and we must all play a part in reducing this and preventing a second wave of infection.

“It is paramount we continue to adhere to social distancing, and don’t put people’s health at risk, especially after a few drinks.

“District councils are doing all they can to facilitate a COVID-secure space for people to go out and enjoy themselves in.

“This includes supporting pubs, restaurants and cafes to create an al-fresco environment where they can operate safely.

“But we are dependent on the public playing their part too by continuing to exercise maximum care and caution during this challenging period, and drinking responsibly and safely.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

The District Councils’ Network (DCN) is a cross-party member-led network providing a single voice to 187 district councils. District councils in England deliver 86 out of 137 essential local government services to over 22 million people – 40 per cent of the population – and cover 68 per cent of the country by area. They play a key role in local communities, providing services such as building homes, collecting waste, regenerating town centres, preventing homelessness, keeping streets clean and maintaining parks.

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