Derbyshire's crime commissioner says pubs should be reopening their doors post lockdown on a Monday not a Saturday, as is planned.
Hundreds of pubs across the county and city are due to reopen their doors for the first time in three months on Saturday, July 4.
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.
This led to a rush of people to pubs on the Friday for a last drink or social event before lockdown and was seen as a contributing factor to the full UK lockdown days later.
Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, saw the merit in moving the reopening to a Monday.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I know some people have suggested that it might be better if it was on a Monday rather than a Saturday or the weekend, whenever it happens we need to get the message out that people need to be sensible, responsible and I think publicans have a really difficult job to plan how they are going to manage the space to enable people to use the facility without compromising their health or others’ health.
“I hope they have the time and the planning to get that done. It is going to be a challenge.
“I think moving the reopening to a Monday should be given some serious consideration to see whether that would help the transition from lockdown to people being able to use the facilities.
“I hope the Government and the powers that be look at that seriously.”
The LDRS asked if the force was preparing for any associated call-outs which may result from hundreds of pubs reopening after three months.
Mr Dhindsa said: “It is always under constant review. We are always looking to see what regulations are changing and are happening. We are using our best intelligence to be as fully prepared as we can and to use our networks to enable that to happen.
“We will work to mitigate as much as possible, but because the rules are not about the law, it is more about guidance, the responsibility is on premises owners.
“It will be about us giving them advice on how space can be used and how to plan and manage and encourage people to use it in a responsible way.
“It is a bit like being let out of jail and doing what you want to do and I see the nature to feel that way but we need to take the opportunity to do this in a balanced and responsible manner to keep all of us safe.”