THE LANCASHIRE Resilience Forum has issued a statement on what pub goers can expect as the hospitality trade reopens this Saturday and how they can best keep themselves and each other safe.

The forum, which brings together councils and emergency services to respond to crises, says that it wants to support the pub trade but is conscious that many customers will be unsure of how to behave or what the new rules will be.

As such it hopes that the government’s published guidelines will help to shed some light on these matters.

Speaking on behalf of the LRF, chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council Denise Park said: “I know that many people in the hospitality trade are looking forward to re-opening after more than three months of being forced to close their doors.

“Many members of the public are also looking forward to getting back to their favourite pubs, bars and restaurants but both customers and staff need to be vigilant about the new guidelines in order to protect each other.

“New hygiene rules and guidance on social distancing are massively important and will help to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.

“Guidance and support is available from each local authority for businesses as they prepare for this new phase.”

The new guidance sets out a range of measures for pubs and restaurants to become Covid-19 secure, including:

• Requiring use of table service where possible instead of ordering at the bar and assigning a single staff member per table

• Encouraging use of contactless ordering from tables where available, such as through an app

• Discouraging non-essential trips by staff within venues, such as between the kitchen and front of house, by using radios and other electronic devices to communicate

• Encouraging customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the venue

• Providing clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene as people arrive on the premises, with signage and visual aids

Risk assessments must be undertaken for reopening and failure to do so could result in a breach of health and safety law.

Chief Nurse of NHS North West Jackie Bird said: “If you are going out this weekend, please remember the risk of coronavirus isn’t over, and for some people it can be fatal.

“Anyone can get the virus, anyone can spread it. The most important thing you can do is take precautions to keep yourself, your friends and your family safe. We are grateful for the huge level of public support shown for the NHS in recent months and we continue to ask for people’s understanding and help to keep our patients and staff safe.”

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