Hospitality businesses across South Tyneside are being encouraged to ensure they remain Covid secure ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.
Pubs and restaurants have been able to reopen from 4 July providing they meet the government's criteria for keeping their staff and customers safe.
The government has provided guidance for the hospitality sector and licensed premises to ensure they are Covid secure. Measures include controlling numbers on the premises to support social distancing, using table service where possible, encouraging contactless ordering from tables where available (such as through an app), encouraging customers to use hand sanitisers on entering venues and implementing a customer log system to support NHS Track and Trace.
South Tyneside Council will be visiting premises over the Bank Holiday weekend, proactively monitoring and offering advice and guidance to businesses. It comes following a small number of confirmed cases associated with pubs and restaurants in the Borough over recent days.
Tom Hall, Director of Public Health for South Tyneside, said: "We know that the past few months have been extremely tough for businesses and they have had to develop and implement risk assessments to demonstrate that they can open safely.
"It is really important that businesses continue to ensure those risk assessments are being correctly implemented, managed and followed in order to protect their staff and customers.
"We are also urging members of the public to help strengthen practices and minimise risk across the Borough. We want anyone who doesn't feel like a premise is Covid secure to have the confidence to tell the manager of the venue and residents should leave if they don't feel comfortable.
"It is especially important if we are to avoid a situation that might mean we have to stop socialising, seeing friends and family and eating out - as seen in other parts of the country where extra restrictions have been put in place.
"We continue to monitor the situation closely and are working proactively with our communities and businesses to ensure people remain as safe and vigilant as possible. The Council is here to support venues and provide advice and guidance on where improvements can be made. However, we also have a monitoring role to ensure businesses are complying with the legislation in place."
To ensure their premises are Covid secure, businesses should be:
- Ensuring adequate handwashing and hand sanitising facilities are available;
- Ensuring guests can socially distance and that venues are not overcrowded;
- Prohibiting groups of more than two households, unless it is a pre-organised event run within the law;
- Capturing information on all guests for NHS Test and Trace purposes;
- Ensuring staff can socially distance safely and providing face coverings / masks, if required.
All businesses should familiarise themselves with the government guidance that applies to their industry. Further information can be found on the Government website at www.gov.uk