Businesses supported to reopen safely as lockdown restrictions are relaxed
PUBLISHED: 12:09 04 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:14 04 July 2020
North Somerset Council’s licensing team has been working with hospitality businesses to enable them to reopen safely this weekend.
Pubs, restaurants and cafés are able to reopen today (Saturday) as long as they can operate within Covid secure guidelines to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.
The licensing team has been visiting licensed premises, mainly in high footfall and night time economy areas, to talk through Covid-safe risk assessments, making sure they have been carried out and the required measures are in place.
Areas where additional street cafés could be set up have been identified by team and guidance has been issued to all taxi drivers and private hire operators on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for both themselves and passengers in their vehicles.
Licensing officers will be out and about in Weston town centre over the weekend making sure the regulations are being followed.
North Somerset Council’s deputy leader Mike Bell said: “On behalf of the licensing team I would like to thank our local businesses for complying both with the closure requirements and the reopening guidance.
“Many people will be happy about the relaxation of lockdown but we all still need to be on our guard. Pubs and restaurants reopening gives us the opportunity to meet up with friends and families who we may not have seen for some time, but we need to do this in a responsible and socially-distanced way.
“There will be others, however, who will be concerned by the further easing of restrictions. I encourage everyone to be tolerant, be considerate of others and to keep following the guidance around key principles like social distancing and good hygiene. That is even more important as we see more lockdown measures being lifted. Preventing infection occurring is something we can all help to do.”
Posters have been distributed to premises reminding people of the need to follow the guidelines.
Live music or entertainment at venues is not permitted as this could attract large gatherings.
The council had already contacted 1,200 hospitality and leisure businesses at the beginning of June with advice and information on what they needed to be doing in order to reopen safely.
It put together FAQ documents covering issues such as ensuring the premises is pest free and that all equipment is working efficiently and ensuring that measures have been taken to minimise the risk from legionella, as well as useful advice relating to off-sales of alcohol, outdoor seating areas, markets and street traders.
These are available on the innorthsomerset website at https://innorthsomerset.co.uk/covid-19-support/.
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