Pubs, bars, cafes and other venues are due to open this weekend for the first time in in most parts of Charnwood as government restrictions continue to ease.
People going out are being urged to support the businesses in a sensible way and a range of measures have been introduced to ensure customers and staff are safe.
However, those in the lockdown area around Leicester, including Birstall, Thurmaston and Wanlip are being urged to stay at home and follow the government’s guidance.
Cllr Leigh Harper-Davies, Lead Member for Communities, said: “While it is great to see more businesses opening, we need to remember that this pandemic is far from over and the threat of the virus remains very real.
“This is clearly highlighted by the new restrictions in Leicester and parts of Charnwood.
“It must be difficult to see neighbouring areas becoming more open, but if you live in those lockdown areas please stay at home as much as possible. This is about protecting lives and livelihoods.
“If you can visit a pub, bar and café please do so sensibly. Pubs have introduced new measures so they can open safely. Going to the pub will be a very different experience but let’s all work together to make it an enjoyable one.
“We have all been living under lockdown restrictions for months and many people still are in Leicester and parts of Charnwood.
“There is no excuse for excess drinking and creating an added burden to our already stretched emergency services.
“It’s not just about pubs, we would also like to welcome back hotels, play areas, places of worship, community centres, cinemas, hairdressers and more.”
Pubs and bars are introducing a range of measures to keep staff and customers safe including:
- customer details will be taken to assist with test and trace.
- offering a table service
- using apps to order drinks
- one-way systems and new toilet access instructions
- there will be strict hygiene and cleaning operations in place
- two-metre social distancing will be enforced where possible
- more use of existing outside space and more spacing between tables will be in place.
Leicestershire Police have announced they are deploying extra officers across the county over the weekend.
Insp Mark Botte, police commander for Charnwood, said: “We have been working directly with the Charnwood Community Safety Partnership to ensure measures are taken to keep our communities safe across the whole borough, this has included dedicating staff to provide a visible presence on the streets, working directly with licenced premises and managing other key stakeholders locally.
“Maximising the safety of the local community is our top priority. The partnership have been working together to implement the COVID-19 government guidelines, with the focus being to save lives and save livelihoods, we ask the public to also consider their responsibility too by following the guidelines and drinking responsibly when visiting restaurants, pubs and bars in the area.
“Charnwood Police will continue to engage, explain, encourage in our local communities and we hope that enforcement of legislation will not become necessary.
“It is our hope that the public recognise this as an opportunity to move towards a level of normality within the community and do not take the new regulations for granted, we want people to enjoy themselves and our local establishments but remember that the law and COVID-19 guidelines are in place to keep them safe. We are asking our community to be responsible and to socialise safely.”
Charnwood Borough Council will also have stewards in Loughborough and visiting high streets around the borough into the early evening.
Taxi firms are also being encouraged not to take passengers into or out of the lockdown area.