West Midlands Police together with local councils have been getting in touch with hospitality venues to help them reopen safely on Saturday 4 July – including pubs, bars and restaurants.
Following recent government guidance, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen from the weekend, as long as they adhere to social distancing and safety measures that protect both staff, customers and the public.
It follows more than three months of closures in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Local officers and councils are working with premises to understand how venues intend to operate safely and to understand and assess any plans to extend or request for outdoor seating areas.
Chief Superintendent Steve Graham, police commander said: “Businesses have suffered financially as a result of the lockdown measures and it’s great to see them being able to reopen this weekend.
“However we need people to take personal responsibility for their actions and behaviour – observe the social distancing measures that will be in place and follow instructions laid out by venues so they are able to operate effectively and stay open.
“Throughout the pandemic we have continued to patrol our towns and city centres and obviously this weekend will continue to put the appropriate resources in place. We will not be ‘policing’ measures in venues, this is the responsibility of licensees but clearly we will be on hand should the need arise.”
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “Saturday is set to be a busy day for West Midlands Police.
“Preparations are underway and we are working closely with pubs, to mitigate the threat of disorder. I would urge people to act sensibly on Saturday.”
As well as businesses reopening, we’re again warning anyone planning to attend an illegal rave this weekend that they risk being arrested and prosecuted.
Recent raves in Manchester have attracted thousands of people – in clear breach of CoVID-19 regulations – and ended in tragedy with one man dying from a suspected drug overdose and another being stabbed.
Ch Supt Graham continued: “Events like this are illegal. They are unacceptable at any time but even more so during a pandemic in which large gatherings are banned to help stop the spread of a killer virus.
“We are sending a strong warning to those thinking about attending such events – you could face enforcement action and receive a criminal record.
“Anyone who is found organising these kind of events also faces the prospect of us seizing equipment and prosecution.
“Finally, we’re calling on the public to help us. If you have any intelligence or hear about an event taking place, please get in touch with us so we can prevent it and ultimately save lives. The key to stopping these events is early intelligence.”
If you suspect a rave or illegal gathering is being organised or there is suspicious activity, contact us on Live Chat via our website or call 101.