Coronavirus: Increased monitoring of pubs across Shropshire
Shropshire Council will be working with partners over the coming weeks to monitor activity in pubs across the county to ensure they are compliant with national COVID-19-secure guidance.
The council has received reports about non-compliant gatherings in pubs, which is a cause for concern. Nationally, there are increasing concerns about licensed premises failing to comply with COVID-19 guidance, the main issue being failure to observe social distancing both inside and outside premises.
Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health said:
“Whilst current data indicates the prevalence and transmission rate of coronavirus in Shropshire are low, it is clear from other parts of the country that this could very rapidly change. It is vital that both businesses and the public continue to take individual responsibility and follow public health guidance to keep everyone in Shropshire safe.”
Measures pubs should be taking include
- Arranging indoor and outdoor seating and tables to keep people 2 metres apart (or one metre with additional protective measures, where 2 metres is not viable)
- Reducing the need for customers to queue and managing any queue, in line with social distancing requirements
- Encouraging customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter and exit the venue
- Putting up signs reminding people to socially distance and wash hands regularly.
Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing operations manager, said:
“We are here to support our pubs and bars during these challenging times. We also appreciate that most pubs are committed to compliance and only want the best for their customers.
“Council officers have adopted a proportionate and pragmatic approach to coronavirus-related enforcement, and this will continue. However, licensees do need to be aware that a failure to ensure a COVID-19-secure environment, or allowing customer behaviour to undermine public health measures, may lead to formal enforcement action.
“New regulatory powers granted to councils means we can take action against licensed premises to bring about improvements if public safety is not being protected, which includes closing pubs who are non-compliant.
” Officers will be undertaking additional monitoring in conjunction with our partners over the coming weeks.
“I want to thank all pubs for their efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and ask that they continue to take their responsibilities seriously.”
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:
“The health and safety of the public is our number one priority, and everyone has a responsibility to support our endeavours to achieve this. I must urge everyone to remember that coronavirus remains a serious risk to health.
“I know that most people want to safely enjoy the social environment of our wonderful pubs and restaurants. We all need to play our part to stop the spread of the virus, so we’re asking people to check that the guidelines are being followed before they enter any premises.
“We know many people will have missed going out for a drink with their friends, but we are encouraging people to take it easy. You still need to keep on social distancing and washing your hands regularly. Pace yourself and know how you’re going to get home safely.
“It is extremely important that we all continue to follow the Government’s guidance, particularly around 2-metre social distancing and other key public health measures.”
Further information about how people can reduce the risk of spreading the virus is available at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
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