A town centre

Safety key as county prepares for lockdown easing

Safety remains the priority as the council works with residents and businesses as lockdown restrictions are eased further from this weekend.

And everyone is being urged to play their part in continuing to act responsibly and thinking about their actions over the coming weeks.

While the Government is in the process of passing new legislation that will enable more businesses to open from 4 July, including pubs and restaurants, coronavirus continues to remain a real threat to public health and social distancing guidelines remain in force.

Along with traders and customers, the Council has a role to play in supporting the economy to re-open safely, and last month put in place simple, temporary measures in the main towns and larger village centres to help maintain social distancing as outlets reopened.  

While businesses themselves will be responsible for implementing many measures set out in the relevant Government guidance, they’re being encouraged to work with the Council and other agencies to minimise the health risks.

Shops and takeaways have been operating for a few weeks now, so the main changes will be the reopening of restaurants, pubs and bars. 
While this might increase the number of people out and about during the day, it is thought the main impact will be the restarting of the town centre night time economy.

Council Leader Peter Jackson said: “We very much welcome our town centres and communities getting back to business, along with those in the hospitality trade and the tourism industry.

“We have a thriving economy in Northumberland, but Covid has been hugely challenging for businesses and it’s important we help to get the economy going again.

“However this virus hasn't gone away, and we need to ensure everything is being done as safely as possible. Our residents and businesses have shown throughout this crisis how responsible they are, and we need this to continue.

“Everyone has their part to play as the lockdown continues to ease if we are to keep businesses going and people safe and healthy.”

The Council is also working alongside Northumbria Police in encouraging people to think about their actions and behave responsibility, particularly if planning to visit pubs once they re-open.

Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton said: “We are really proud of the way our communities have come together during what has been a very difficult time for many of us.

“This weekend will see the return of many of Northumberland’s businesses since lockdown and we are asking people to show some personal responsibility.

"We're at a critical stage and must all do what we can to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“If you are going to shops, pubs or restaurants then please show respect for others so that everyone can enjoy our businesses safely and in a responsible manner.”
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