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As some pubs reopen their doors on Saturday patrons wanting a pint are being urged to be patient as bars adjust to the ‘new normal’.
The Government announced that pubs could reopen on Saturday 4 July, as long as precautionary measures are taken to keep customers safe, such as reducing the number of people allowed inside to account for social distancing.
Premises have also been asked to keep music to a minimum and not show sports, to prevent loud talking, singing and cheering because this can increase the distance saliva droplets travel and increase the chance of spreading coronavirus.
Cllr Martin Terry, Southend Council cabinet member for customer contact and community safety, said: “Our pubs will not operate in the way they did before coronavirus and in order to keep people safe we need everyone to understand this and be patient.
“I want to impress on anyone planning to go to the pub this weekend, to be patient with the bar staff, who are learning new ways of working within the guidance issued by Government.
“The measures put in place inside the bars are for the protection of everyone – customers and staff alike and we need to respect those new rules, even with alcohol in the mix. Please also be respectful to local residents too, many of whom will live close to licensed premises.
“Many of the pubs which are reopening are doing so with a reduced capacity for the number of people allowed inside because of social distancing. Some have decided to amend their opening times and some have decided it is not safe for them to open at all.
“Our licencing team and community safety patrol teams will be working over the weekend with our police colleagues to ensure people are adhering to the rules, to act on reports of concern and make sure everyone is safe.
“I understand the excitement to have a pint poured from the pump but please, use your common sense and follow the rules of the establishment you decide to visit. Please also wash your hands frequently, keep apart from others, and if you have symptoms, stay home, isolate and get tested.”
Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan, lead for local policing in Essex, said: “Everyone from local councils to businesses including shops, pubs and restaurants, have come together to get things moving again across the county. They want to make shopping and socialising safe, and the police will work closely with them to make sure that criminals don’t take advantage of the situation.
“Everyone needs to continue to take responsibility for their own safety when they are out and about, and also look out for the safety of others. Essex was united during lockdown, and we must remain united as we begin our safe return to high streets and businesses across the county.”