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Council staff give support in high streets during reopening

Public protection officers will patrol town centres throughout Cornwall from this weekend to help support hospitality businesses in reopening safely after the lockdown. 

Cornwall Council staff will be on hand to offer advice to pubs, restaurants, bars, and takeaways as they welcome customers for the first time from this Saturday, July 4. 

Hospitality businesses including pubs, restaurants, bars, takeaways, hotels, bed and breakfasts, self-catering accommodation and visitor attractions can reopen from this weekend provided they can comply with the Government’s Covid secure guidelines. 

The Council is reminding businesses of the key reopening requirements which include:

  • A COVID-19 risk assessment for the business before reopening 
  • A one metre-plus social distancing rule with mitigations
  • A limit to the number of staff and customers on site to ensure social distancing
  • A requirement to collect contact details for all customers to assist with the Government’s Test, Track and Trace system 
  • No live performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience 
  • Taking steps to prevent people from raising their voices, for example refraining from playing music or broadcasts at a volume that make normal conversation difficult and could encourage shouting
  • Premises where close contact is highly likely such as nightclubs must stay shut for now

Businesses which have completed the necessary safety steps can display a Government poster showing they have complied.

For restaurants, cafes and pubs planning to place chairs and tables outside their premises from Saturday, Cornwall Council supports the use of outside areas, subject to risk assessments and it being safe to do so, in order to support social distancing.

Businesses must ensure that any use of an outside area does not block or impact on normal pedestrian traffic and should be respectful of neighbours. The Council will work with businesses to educate, inform and enforce where this is not done, under the existing licensing system.

Further licensing is required for the sale of alcohol (for consumption on or off the premises) and for supplying late night refreshment (hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am the next day).

If you already have a licence, please ensure it covers use of outside areas. If not, you may need to apply to vary the licence. The Council’s Licensing Team can help you with the application or authorisation process including providing other regulatory support needed. Please contact licensing@cornwall.gov.uk for more information or see here

New COVID-19 legislation is expected later this month which will require businesses to apply for a new permission known as a pavement licence. This is likely to have a consultation requirement. As soon as this regulation is approved by Parliament Cornwall Council will write to businesses and town and parish councils to explain how the rules apply to them.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “As our vital hospitality sector in Cornwall reopens for trade on Saturday our public protection teams will be out on the streets doing town centre walkthroughs giving safety advice, support and reassurance to businesses and the public during this momentous time.

“We are explaining, encouraging and supporting businesses to understand what they are required to do in order to reopen in a safe way that protects everyone from Coronavirus infection and which prevents or reduces the likelihood of any other untoward issues such as noise nuisance, littering and anti-social behaviour. 

“Enforcement actions will only be called upon where businesses are clearly creating COVID-19 infection risks such as failing to manage social distancing and necessary hygiene controls or failing to monitor the business and customers that could create noise nuisance, littering and anti-social behaviour. 

“Our primary aim is to help with business support and compliance with COVID 19 rules, so talk to our officers in the town centres when they are out and about, or get in touch with our business regulatory support team by phone or email.”

The Government has published guidance on working safely during Coronavirus. There is specific guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways. 

If businesses have any queries relating to licensing matters for alcohol, email licensing@cornwall.gov.uk. Please be aware that we are expecting a high demand in calls for support at this time and we will get back to you as quickly as we can. 

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of anti-social behaviour and disorder. Additional resources will be available to support local businesses to resolve issues quickly and to provide help to people who are vulnerable.

If you need any further help contact businessadvice@cornwall.gov.uk

You can also join free Back in Business webinars hosted by the Council for specific sectors. Around 1,500 businesspeople have already taken part over the past month.

More advice is available at https://www.businessregulatorysupport.co.uk/ 

Anyone wishing to report issues where businesses may be failing to manage social distancing and take necessary hygiene controls can contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1231118 or email covid19@cornwall.gov.uk.

To report illegal social gatherings, anti-social behaviour or crime contact the police by calling 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk and call 999 in an emergency.

Devon & Cornwall Police has been anticipating the demand during this weekend and planning extensively with partners throughout the lockdown period for the re-opening of the region.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has provided a £500,000 investment to give support to 20 locations across the Force aimed at reducing drink related antisocial behaviour – providing elements such as extra street warden security, public toilets and CCTV monitoring.

People have a duty to drink responsibly, adhere to social distancing and not fight or commit criminal damage simply because we are coming out of lockdown. Police will take proactive action against any drink-related disorder and would ask people to think seriously about their actions.

Story posted on July 2, 2020

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