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Safety first approach to nights out

Eden residents have been urged to help avoid another lockdown by sticking to the rules around Covid-19 and ensuring they social distance on their nights out.

Emma Brass, Principal Environmental Health Officer at Eden District Council, said social distancing was the key issue for people to remember when they visiting pubs and restaurants.

Landlords should be reminding people to keep 2m apart where possible when they take bookings and members of the public need to ensure they kept their distance from friends if they were meeting up for a drink or a meal.

“Pub and restaurant managers do have a duty to ensure that the rules are being adhered to which means not taking bookings of more than six people or allowing people to create larger groups in the pub.

“But if you have a group of six in a pub it can be difficult for staff to know who is in what household, so it is a good idea to remind people about social distancing when you take a booking or welcome people to the premises, now that table service is required,” she said.

“I can understand that some people are feeling fatigued and might stop taking the advice on board, but it is very important that we look after everybody’s safety. We are all in this together and we all need to do this properly so that we can continue to have social interaction.

“A second full lockdown could really hit some businesses hard and we can all do something to avoid that,” she added.

Environmental health officers have been dealing with a number of queries in recent days as businesses raise questions about the new rules which have been introduced to combat a second wave of Covid infections. These have included:

  • Restaurant and bar managers are also being reminded that staff need to wear masks or face coverings and not just a shield.
  • Takeaways have been told that the 10pm closing rule applies to them although later drive throughs and deliveries are allowed.
  • Darts and pool games are allowed as long as players wear facemasks and follow the rule of six. If players want to drink/eat whilst playing their game they have to go back to their table to do so.

Emma said: “We will continue to respond to questions and investigate complaints alongside our monitoring visits out and about to see how businesses are complying with the rules. There is always a balance between education and enforcement, but I am sure there will be more enforcement such as fixed penalties from the police carried out in the coming weeks.”