Coronavirus: Pulling together whilst staying apart – reminder to social distance and stay safe when going out this weekend
People heading to their local pub over the weekend are being reminded to drink and socialise safely to minimise the risk of infection from coronavirus, not only to yourself but to vulnerable members of your community, so that everyone can continue to enjoy the new going out.
The callout from Shropshire Council and local partners is in response to concerns following the reopening of pubs, where some people have not been following social distancing both inside and outside premises, thereby putting themselves and others at risk.
Shropshire Council’s trading standards and regulatory services are urging people to continue to follow social distancing guidelines, as well as the measures premises have put in place to keep people safe, and help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:
“Coronavirus remains a serious risk to health, and the protection of the health and safety of the public is our number one priority.
“I know that the vast majority of people who have waited a long time to return to the social environment of our wonderful Shropshire pubs will do so responsibly, but we know some people will drink to excess and become vulnerable to harm or indeed cause harm to others. Anti-social and criminal behaviour that impacts on the safety of our communities is simply not acceptable, and I urge people to act responsibly.
“It is extremely important that we all continue to follow the Government’s guidance, particularly around social distancing and other key public health measures, in order to prevent the spread of the virus when we are out and about enjoying the greater freedoms that we now have.”
Karen Collier, Shropshire Council’s head of regulatory services, said:
“It’s great that people can now go out and enjoy a drink at their local pub. However, we just ask you to please respect the hygiene measures in place and be supportive of pub landlords and staff.
“To ensure it is a safe and enjoyable experience for all, please follow any signage or instructions, and remember to observe social distancing – that’s 2m where possible, or 1m as long as you follow the extra measures to keep yourself and others safe, including sitting side-to-side or using screens.
“And remember, social distancing is required between customers of different households or support bubbles.
“We urge people to play their part and comply with the Government guidelines; this will help reduce the risk of another spike in COVID-19 and help avoid a local lockdown.”
Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing operations manager, added:
“We do understand that these are extremely challenging times, and we want to reassure pubs that we will provide the support they need. We also appreciate that the majority of pubs are committed to compliance and only want the best for their customers.
“We have highly-knowledgeable staff with the expertise and skills to advise and support businesses with any concerns they may have, and I would urge business owners to get in touch if you need any help.
“I specifically want to ask all our licensed hospitality businesses to ensure that not only do they operate in a COVID-19-secure way, but that they also pay significant attention to their legal responsibility to promote the four licensing objectives: the prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; the prevention of public nuisance; and the protection of children from harm.
“Licensees do need to be aware that significant failures to comply with their legal obligations under the Licensing Act may lead to formal enforcement action, including prosecution and licence review; this may ultimately lead to a business losing its licence. This is on top of the significant risk that the transmission rate of the coronavirus will increase, economic recovery will be undermined, and this will be detrimental to all.
“I want to thank all businesses for their efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and ask that they continue to take their responsibilities seriously.”
Following today’s (Friday 17 July 2020) announcement from the Government, Shropshire Council will be reviewing new guidance on local shutdown powers and working closely with our licensees to ensure the safety of Shropshire people.
To find out how to stay safe for yourself and others around you, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Government guidance for pubs and restaurants can be found here.
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must: stay at home as much as possible; work from home if you can; limit contact with other people; keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible); wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds; and do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
Further advice can be sought from, and COVID-19 concerns can be reported to, Shropshire Council by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0345 678 9067 and select option 3.
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