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‘Play your part’ public asked as pubs and restaurants reopen

Members of the public are being asked to play their part and not jeopardise the hard work put in by pubs and restaurants to safely reopen.

That’s the message from Lancaster City Council ahead of the latest easing of lockdown measures, which gives the green light for pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to serve customers indoors from next Monday (May 17).

The city council has been working closely with businesses to prepare them for the reopening and to operate in way that’s Covid safe.

This includes a requirement for people to leave their name and contact details as part of the ‘track and trace’ programme and reduced capacities to ensure social distancing.

Indoor gatherings are also limited to groups of up to six people, or two households, and people will need to order, eat and drink while seated rather than at the bar or counter.

But to make this work, everyone needs to play their part.

Councillor Merv Evans, cabinet member with responsibility for economic recovery and resilience, said: “It’s great news that pubs and restaurants are being allowed to serve customers indoors and we will do everything we can to support them in doing so safely.

“We want people to enjoy the experience of 'going out' again but in a way that prioritises safety. Venues will be operating on a reduced capacity and have measures in place to keep staff and customers safe, in line with government guidelines.

“We all now need to show them our support by following the rules they’ve worked so hard to implement and be patient.

“As a further measure we’d also encourage people to regularly take a Covid test to help prevent potential outbreaks and home kits are available to order online, from pharmacies or our community testing venues.

“The council can also support businesses in introducing regular testing for their staff and help them to identify those who are asymptomatic.

“The fight against Covid-19 is far from over and we all have a duty to take the necessary precautions to avoid another costly lockdown.”

When you arrive at your venue, follow the instructions you will be given and be prepared to:

•        Provide your name and contact details – this is to help the NHS contact you if there is a local outbreak
•        Wash your hands regularly and/or use hand sanitiser
•        Use a contactless method of payment
•        Follow floor marking and signs for queuing and movement around the venue
•       Don’t wander around the venue more than necessary and respect social distancing from other customers outside your group during your visit.

If in doubt, check with the venue and for any local rules they might have in place.

Through its Covid Safe scheme, which now has more than 140 members, the city council is helping businesses to demonstrate that it is safe to return to our shops, bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants and other venues operating within the district.

To qualify, business premises or venues must have undertaken a comprehensive Covid-19 risk assessment, put in place appropriate controls, trained staff and comply with government and industry guidance to trade safely.

For more information on the scheme visit Lancaster.gov.uk/covid-safe. Businesses wanting to discuss the introduction of testing for their staff should email lft@lancaster.gov.uk.

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