Strict measures to be in place as pubs and restaurants reopen from Saturday

STRICT safety measures will be in place at pubs and eateries in the borough from Saturday as the hospitality trade reopens to the public.


On March 20 the government ordered all pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants to close in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 


But from Saturday, July 4, bars and eateries across the country will now be allowed to reopen if they follow strict guidelines that will help keep the virus from growing. 


Guidance for licence holders was published by the government last Wednesday. It requires licensees across the country to carry out a risk assessment on their own premises in line with this national document.


Expert officers from Barrow Borough Council have offered extra support to businesses in the area as they adopt new working practices to meet the safety requirements laid down.


Councillor Tony Callister, Barrow Borough Council spokesperson for licensing and public protection, said: “I’m pleased that pubs, bars and cafes can start to re-open. It will hopefully bring some stability back to businesses and it’s so crucial to our local economy. 


“However, these strict measures have been put in place for a reason, and even though they will be kept under constant review by the government, people will have to accept this could be the new normal for some time.


“As with the reopening of non-essential shops just a couple of weeks ago, it is up to licensees to form their own operational plans based on their individual premises, their business and how they can adapt their operation to meet the criteria laid out by the government.


“Our licensing team have offered additional advice and support to businesses in the borough in light of the guidelines and are happy to help anyone who gets in touch.


“We are also asking customers to please be patient and respect the rules. This will help to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and ensure that pubs, bars and other eateries can remain open for the foreseeable future.”


From Saturday customers should be seated while inside and will not be able to stand by the bar once they have received their order. Entertainment such as live sports broadcasts and music within the premises is also not permitted. 


The hospitality industry will be very different from pre-lockdown and customers are encouraged to remain patient and respectful towards staff as these important Covid-19 regulations are put in place to ensure everyone’s safety. 


Among other measures, customers will also have to give basic details on arrival at a venue including their name, phone number and email address to make NHS contact tracing easier if another customer contracts the virus.  Failure to provide this vital information could result in refusal of entry. 


In a bid to help businesses in the hospitality sector during this uneasy time the government has also relaxed the two-metre social distance rule to ‘one-metre plus’. 


Customers are asked to be aware of the following based upon current government guidelines:


  • Nightclubs must remain closed.
  • Many businesses will be closing no later than midnight
  • Entertainment within premises is not permitted, including live sports broadcasts and live music. 
  • No dancing is allowed
  • Everyone inside must be seated and most places will be offering table/app service
  • You may need to wait longer to use toilet facilities
  • Indoors, groups are limited to 6 people only from a maximum of 2 households (or support bubbles). 
  • Outdoors, groups are also limited to a maximum of 6 people but can be from any number of households. You will need to socially distance from those outside of your household or support bubble
  • No indoor sport will take place, including darts and pool
  • Tables and seating will be separated to aid social distancing
  • All premises will be operating at reduced capacity so you may need to queue prior to entering the premises 

In order to help keep the virus under control, the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines. The government will keep all new measures under constant review.


Advice from Barrow Borough Council’s Public Protection Team is available via commercial@barrowbc.gov.uk