Medway residents are reminded to social distance and stay safe ahead of more businesses reopening this weekend.
High streets reopened for business on 15 June with many shops welcoming customers back, and from Saturday, 4 July food and drink businesses, as well as accommodation, hair salons and some recreational venues can also remove their closed signs.
Following on from the recent success of Medway’s shops implementing new measures to help keep customers safe, more Medway businesses have been working on plans to allow them to trade for the first time since lockdown was implemented.
Medway Council is supporting the government’s phased reopening of businesses and facilities and is working with local businesses to provide advice on how they can best help keep their staff and customers safe.
The council has produced a guidance pack for the hospitality sector and council officers are providing advice to food and drink businesses about risk assessments that must be completed prior to opening to ensure they are adhering to new legislation and meeting social distancing guidelines.
Medway Council is also working closely with Kent Police to help businesses prepare, but also to help keep the public safe on reopening weekend.
Customers are asked to be mindful that they may need to queue on the pavement outside, due to limited numbers in some premises to allow for social distancing. Many businesses have also put a booking system in place to avoid queues and to help keep everyone safe – customers are encouraged to contact the business, such as looking on their website or social media pages, before visiting to check what new measures are in place.
The public are also advised that it might be unsafe for many businesses to allow customers to drink and eat directly outside their premises, due to social distancing queues and nearby roads. Customers visiting venues in the evening are also reminded to be mindful of the noise they may be making whilst queuing or leaving a venue.
We must all do our bit to help stop the spread of the virus
Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, said: “I am pleased more of Medway’s businesses will be able to reopen from 4 July and I am looking forward to seeing Medway’s high streets come to life once again. However, we are still in a pandemic and although I’d encourage residents to support local businesses, we need to do this sensibly and safely.
“We are working with Kent Police to help keep the public safe, in anticipation that areas around pubs, bars and restaurants are likely to be busy this weekend. Please be patient with staff and others queuing whilst we continue to adjust to this new way of life. It is important that we all continue to social distance from people outside of our households or bubble, and we can do this by avoiding visiting busy areas during peak times or meeting up with large groups of people. We must all continue to do our bit to help stop the spread of the virus in Medway and consequently save lives. It is important that we do not put any additional pressure on our already stretched NHS colleagues.”