PUBS and licensed premised across Staffordshire are being reminded how they can do their bit to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Police alongside district and borough councils have written to all licensed premises of the importance of following national guidance on hygiene and social distancing, and what help is available to them.
Pubs and other licensed premises must complete a Covid-19 risk assessment before they reopen, and take steps to limit the spread of the virus. This includes keeping a record of names and contact details of all customers and visitors, so they can be contacted quickly in the event of an outbreak.
Measures pubs should be taking include:
• Arranging indoor and outdoor seating and tables to keep people 2m apart (or 1m with additional protective measures where 2m is not viable)
• Reducing the need for customers to queue and managing any queue in-line with social distancing requirements
• Encouraging customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the venue
• Putting up signs reminding people to socially distance and wash hands regularly
New regulatory powers granted to councils means they can take action against licensed premises to bring about improvements if public safety is not being protected.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director of Health and Care said: “The vast majority of licensees are behaving responsibly and pulling out all the stops to keep their customers and communities safe, and I want to thank them for their continued efforts in this.
“However, as we have seen recently, there are some premises that need to do more to follow national guidance on hygiene, social distancing and gathering the contact details of their customers. This is crucial for us – we need to be able to trace people quickly in the event of an outbreak to stop it in its tracks, so the more details we have about who people have potentially been in contact with, the better we can trace them.
“But we all need to play our part to stop the spread of the virus, so we’re asking people to check that the guidelines are being followed before they enter any premises. If they aren’t they maybe need to twice about going in.”
County Councillor Dr Johnny McMahon, cabinet member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said:
“The government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme starts today, and it is essential that we support local businesses to get back on their feet. However, it has to be done in a way that keeps people safe.
"We have written to all licensed premises across the county to remind them of the importance of following national guidance to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Premises need to have measures in place so they can operate in a safe way that protects both customers and staff.
“We are continuing to work closely with our district and borough council colleagues to help pubs take the steps needed to be Covid secure. However, we also letting them know that we will use new powers of enforcement to bring about improvements where public safety is not being met.”