Venues and their patrons thanked after easing of lockdown restrictions

Lancaster City Council is thanking people for the way they responded to the reopening of pubs, restaurants, cafes and other businesses at the weekend.

Temperature checks are one of the measures pubs have implemented

Temperature checks are one of the measures pubs have implemented

And for those businesses that have not yet opened their doors, the council is on hand to support them with a new assurance audit service so they have confidence to do so in a manner that is safe not only for customers, but for their staff and themselves.

The council has been working closely with businesses to support their plans and has visited more than 800 in the last few weeks, offering specific advice and gathering contact information.

Posters and signage have been produced for them to use in their venues and council officers were also out on Saturday night working alongside the police, conducting spot checks and compliance with the new rules. This work will continue for a number of weeks to safeguard the public.

This engagement works appears to have paid off said Councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox, cabinet member with responsibility for sustainable economic prosperity, with few problems reported at the weekend.

“The first opening weekend after lockdown appears to have gone well, with broad compliance with the government guidance from both venues and the public,” he said.

“That’s in no short thanks to our partnership with the police and also the good relationship we’ve developed through the Lancaster and Morecambe pub watch, which provided us with the opportunity for us to talk directly to businesses on control measures and interpretation of the guidance.

“I’d like to thank everyone for the way they have responded because there were no reports of any particular problems, although the poor weather over the weekend certainly seems to have played a part so it’s important not to be complacent.

“Coronavirus has not gone away so it's really important that we all maintain social distancing. Businesses have played their part, with some really good examples of how they have taken measures to keep customers safe, and we all need to continue to play our part by staying alert and observing the guidance.”

Chief Insp Chris Hardy, who oversees policing in Lancaster and Morecambe, added: “We will continue to work with our colleagues at the Local Authority to make sure that pubs and restaurants adhere to their licensing conditions and the rules and guidance set out by Government for safe opening.”

As part of its continued support to businesses the council has launched a Covid19 assurance audit service specifically to assist the hospitality sector open their businesses safely.

This could include:

•        Covid Risk Assessments
•        Infection control advice
•       Staff safety, customer safety and controlling interaction between staff and customers
•        Outside space and inside space management including queue management – inside/outside/toilets/neighbours
•        Signage
•        Entrance and exit points
•        Managing children
•        Capturing customer information to support track and trace
•        Managing customer expectation

If you would like a council officer to visit your premises to provide advice please contact econdev@lancaster.gov.uk to book your slot.

There are also details of grants on offer, free advice and support to help your business start, recover, grow and succeed, including specific advice for food businesses. You can also find useful information on the council’s website at: Lancaster.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Last updated: 07 July 2020