Extra police officers will be on patrol throughout Derbyshire this weekend as pubs and restaurants begin to open their doors for the first time in over three months.
The government's latest guidance means that some hospitality establishments can open to the public from Saturday 4 July as more lockdown restrictions are eased.
There has been some trepidation about the choice of a Saturday for the reopening – in line with the same concern over the closure of pubs on a Friday – March 20.
Derbyshire's police and crime commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has said pubs should be reopening their doors post lockdown on a Monday not a Saturday.
But with many set to open this weekend, police are warning people what they should expect and have said more officers will be on duty "to make sure that people can enjoy the county's pubs, clubs and restaurants safely".
It is anticipated that towns will be busy when establishments reopen for the first time so people are being reminded to book taxis well in advance, wear face coverings on public transport but avoid using buses and trains where possible, and maintain social distancing at all times with the new "one metre plus" rule also coming into effect on Saturday
People will be expected to queue outside venues or at the bar once inside and provide their details at each premises visited to assist with track and trace.
Owners of on-licences premises will need to have the appropriate risk assessments and plans in place to ensure both staff and customer safety. Owners should seek advice from their local environmental health officers and licensing teams for further advice if required.
Inspector Emma Marshall said: "It’s great for the local economy that the pubs and restaurants can re-open, however people visiting need to be aware that their evening out is likely to be very different from previous nights out in the towns and cities.
"People will need to be patient as queues are likely to be longer than expected and respect the rights of others to socially distance while everyone takes the opportunity to enjoy themselves. We will be supporting our colleagues in environmental health to identify breaches and take appropriate action where necessary."
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