Many people will be excited about the prospect of celebrating restaurants, cafes and particularly pubs opening for the first time since March on Saturday (4 July)
Easing of Government lockdown restrictions means pubs, cafes and restaurants are among those venues which will be allowed to reopen in England on Saturday 4 July.
Government has issued advice to venues to reconfigure seating, minimise self-service, cancel live acts and stagger arrivals.
In addition, Halton Borough Council and Cheshire Police have been working with licensees to ensure they are ready to open – but the safety of the re-opened venues depends on the customers.
As things are likely to look a little different at your regular pub, or favourite restaurant, people are being encouraged to look out for signs and instructions that venues have put in place to ensure the safety of customers.
Many pubs are only accepting people who have booked places due to lower than normal capacities.
Drinkers may be asked to reserve a seat in stripped down pubs to allow for social distancing.
Once inside, you may not drink at the bar, many will offer only table service or app only ordering. Pub visitors will also be asked to give their name to the pub landlord at the door.
Inside, one-way systems will be used to ensure people do not cross paths. The Government guidance also outlines that doors should be left open, where appropriate, to reduce touchpoints.
Although this will not be a strict rule, customers are asked not to speak too loudly in a bid to lower the chances of oral transmission of the virus.
As well as following these measures, people are also being urged to drink responsibly and to remember social distancing at all times – especially as they relax and enjoy time with friends in familiar surroundings.
Adhering to social distancing is vital in reducing the spread of the virus. When sitting inside pubs or restaurants, people will be allowed to gather at a social distance in groups of six, with a maximum of two households involved.
This six-person limit will also apply to pub gardens, although friends from more than two households will be permitted to socialise.
Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Community Safety, Cllr Dave Cargill, said: “We want people to ease out of lockdown, but at the same time keep themselves and others in our community safe.
“It is important to remember that COVID-19 has not gone away, so people must follow social distance guidance, wash their hands regularly and follow the measures that pubs, cafes and restaurants have put in place for their safety.”
If anyone has any concerns that a venue is not COVID-safe You should raise your concerns by contacting the Health and Safety Executive Call Centre at www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus, or contacting Halton Borough Council on 0303 333 4300