Licence holders at pubs and bars have been told to keep control of customers drinking and queueing to get into their premises.
They have been warned they could be investigated by the licensing authority if they have inadequate control measures.
Wealden District Council says tomorrow’s re-opening of pubs and bars “does not mean a return to normal”.
“You must plan carefully, put in place measures to protect the health and safety of your employees and customers.
“Discuss your proposed arrangements with neighbouring businesses so there is enough space for queues,” the council says.
The letter to licence holders says:
“Please plan for significant demand on re opening.
“Be aware that a loss of control on customers queueing or drinking by any business would be a public order and safety matter, which you as the premises licence holder are responsible for controlling, without the intervention of the police.
“Should Sussex Police have to intervene to control queues or your customers and this is a consequence of inadequate control measures being in place, then this is likely to result in a report to the licensing authority for investigation.”
Prime Minister’s announcement
The reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants after the lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Sussex Resilience Forum has called on people to avoid placing strain on the NHS and other local services.
Assistant Chief Constable, Dave Miller, who chairs the Forum, said: “Our businesses and communities are understandably welcoming the further easing of restrictions planned.
NHS 72nd anniversary
“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the additional freedom this will bring but our plea is to do this safely and to avoid placing additional strain on emergency services and the health service that have all worked so hard to protect the public during this pandemic.
“The fact that the re-opening coincides with the 72nd anniversary of our health service, which has demonstrated its incredible resilience and relentless care throughout this pandemic, makes our message even more important.
“For many, the experience of visiting a pub or restaurant will be very different, as social distancing restrictions will remain in place, and large gatherings continue to be prohibited. This means that pubs and restaurants will have a number of measures in place, with limits on the number of customers they can welcome into their premises.
“It’s crucial people plan ahead, contact the venue they are visiting or check their website to find out how to do this in a safe way.”
Those who do decide to visit pubs and restaurants, are encouraged by the Forum to take the following steps to ensure their trip is as safe as possible:
- Follow social distancing guidance at all times
- Plan ahead – many pubs and restaurants will be working to a strict ‘bookings only’ policy to limit numbers
- Avoid large gatherings and do not congregate outside licensed premises.
Guidance from the Government to pubs, bars and restaurants includes the need to carry out a risk assessment, how to keep customers safe, maintaining a record of customers for 21 days.
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