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Coventry City Council and other agencies have been getting in touch with all businesses to help them reopen safely including pubs, bars and restaurants which are able to open after Saturday 4 July.
Following recent government guidance, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen from next weekend, as long as they adhere to social distancing and safety measures that protect both staff, customers and the public.
It follows more than three months of closures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Council is working with premises to understand how venues intend to operate safely and to understand and assess any plans to extend or request for outdoor seating areas.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said businesses would get the support of the local authority.
He added: “We all want and need businesses to reopen safely and the hospitality sector have suffered financially since the first lockdown measures were introduced due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Pubs and restaurants are having to takes steps to operate effectively and we want to help where we can.
“This includes looking at whether there is potential to extend seating areas outside in a way that does not compromise the safe movement of pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic.
“It’s about managing the experience for pub and restaurant visitors while mitigating any potential hazards or anti-social behaviour.”
The Council’s licensing team is writing to businesses and is offering to arrange to visit licensed premises and food businesses who need help with complying with the new guidance.
Venues are being reminded to refer to the conditions on their premises licence, as these will remain in force, and if they have any questions regarding these, or need to make any changes, they should contact the licensing team at [email protected]
Cllr O’Boyle added: “A lot of the new guidance will rely on sensible co-operation between everyone to help ensure a safe and successful reopening.
“It’s about ensuring businesses operate within the licensing requirements and to support them with any planned changes. We are expecting some requests to increase the outdoor space available outside buildings.”
Trish Willetts, Director at Coventry Business Improvement District (BID), commented: “The reopening of the bar and restaurant scene in Coventry on the 4th July is very much a sign that, in measured ways, we’re getting back to normal.
“Coventry BID – and our partners – have been working hard throughout the lockdown to prepare for the time when we can reopen.
“Coventrians, and those from outside our great city, should be confident that they can safely return to their favourite food and drink businesses and we are all looking forward to welcoming them back.”
Businesses can get in touch online to share their plans and identify where they need assistance.
Premises will need to complete a risk assessment which takes COVID-19 into account. Please be aware that this is a legal requirement within government guidance. Failure to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment could constitute a breach of health and safety law.