People urged to be sensible amid the reopening of bars and restaurants on July 4

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“We know people will be looking forward to going out after such a long time but please be sensible and help newly reopened businesses out by abiding by the Covid-19 regulations.”

This is the message from Chief Superintendent Ash Tuckley, the officer overseeing the policing operation in response to the reopening of the nighttime economy.

From Saturday, July 4, bars, restaurants and pubs have all been permitted to open for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed on March 23.

In readiness for this, Northamptonshire Police has been working with local businesses and the various local authorities across the county to ensure the reopenings adhere to government guidelines to keep local people and the staff who work at these venues, safe.

Chief Superintendent Tuckley, said: “We know people will be looking forward to going out after such a long time and we do want people to enjoy themselves but please be sensible and help newly reopened businesses out by abiding by the Covid-19 regulations and knowing your limits in regards to alcohol.

“We have been working with local businesses and our partners for some time now to ensure that the reopening of the nighttime economy passes off safely and the key advice I want to communicate to people is to know your limits, plan your day and consider how you will get home safely.

“The vast majority of drinkers are responsible but we know that there will be a small minority who will try and ruin it for others by drinking to excess and trying to create disorder.

“Let me be clear that we will not tolerate any anti-social or criminal behaviour and we have plans in place in order to quickly respond to any incidents of concern.

“I am also urging people to be mindful of the fact that Covid-19 is still a serious risk to people’s health and that we all need to adhere to the measures local businesses will have put in place to mitigate the spread of the disease.

“Finally, I know the majority of people will be looking forward to an enjoyable and safe night out and I want to reassure them that your local police officers will be on hand throughout the weekend if you have any issues or need to make us aware of any incidents of concern.”

Local businesses will have to abide by the following guidelines when they reopen from July 4:

  • Venues are responsible for ensuring they meet the government’s guidelines on reopening on July 4, set out on their website here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/Keeping-workers-and-customers-safe-during-covid-19-restaurants-pubs-bars-takeaways-230620.pdf
  • Venues should not permit live performances, including drama, comedy and music.
  • The requirement for indoor seating means managing the entry of customers and the number of customers at a venue, so that all indoor customers are seated with appropriate distancing, and those outdoors have appropriately spaced seating or standing room.
  • Indoor table service must be used where possible. Outdoor table service should also be encouraged, although customers are permitted to stand outside if distanced appropriately. Where bar or counter service is unavoidable, steps should be taken to prevent customers from remaining at the bar or counter after ordering.
  • Operators should keep a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days to assist NHS Test and Trace requests for data if needed.
  • Public toilets, portable toilets and toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed.
  • Venues should encourage the use of contactless payments.
  • Venues should discourage non-essential trips by staff within venues, such as between the kitchen and front of house, by using radios and other electronic devices to communicate.
  • Customers should be encouraged to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the venue.
  • Clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene should be visible as people arrive on the premises, with signage and visual aids.
  • If venues need clarity on what is expected of them, they should speak to their local authority’s licensing department.
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