As pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes prepare to reopen their doors from Saturday 4th July, Stockport Council and its partners welcome the huge boost it will bring to the local hospitality sector and the local economy but are also working to ensure that this will not jeopardise the significant progress that has been made to protect people’s health and well-being.
The changes that need to be made to fit in with the new requirements may seem quite daunting for business owners. To make it easier, the Government has produced guidance specifically designed to enable pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to reopen safely and, by following the steps to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment prior to opening, businesses will be better prepared. The council is also proactively working to provide support through a series of measures, including holding webinars to offer advice from experts in reopening safely.
Cllr Sheila Bailey, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport, has reiterated the council’s support to aid businesses recovery and is determined the whole borough remains safe so local people feel comfortable and welcomed as they return to the bars and restaurants:
Key public health messages must be followed if we are to continue to protect ourselves against the virus. We welcome the return of an important part of our economy but we are aware that many residents are approaching the easing of lockdown with caution and we want them to feel safe when they visit their favourite bar and restaurant.
“The Government has also changed parts of the Licensing Act to enable all pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to operate outside of their normal premises, in some cases by extending onto pavements, by allowing “off sales”. This has been done to encourage places to have more of an outdoor offer as the risks of transmission of the virus are believed to be lower in open areas.
“For hundreds of years, pubs have been a social pillar in our communities, over the past weeks they have been greatly missed. I’m looking forward to seeing our much loved bars and restaurants reopening and thriving again. But I am also aware that the new off-sales measures may impact on residents living nearby. The guidance has introduced some restrictions such as live music but some of the normal control measures, such as keeping people inside and keeping doors and windows closed, aren’t going to be possible in a lot of cases. We’d ask people to bear this in mind wherever possible and I’d like to also reassure Stockport residents and businesses that we are working with our partners to manage any potential risk as premises may be busier than usual, especially in the early stages.
“Guidance throughout the pandemic has been to educate and encourage compliance. We know that the majority of businesses and their customers will behave responsibly. However, in the event that guidance is being abused, we will intervene where necessary.”
The Council is working closely with the Police, businesses and other partners to plan for the 4th July so staff and customers are kept safe. Government guidance is available on their website.