Date issued: 9 July 2020
A range of partners including Colchester Borough Council and the Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) are working with bars and restaurants to ensure people continue to feel safe and enjoy visiting town centre as lockdown measures are eased.
Last weekend saw pubs and restaurants in Colchester and across the country open their doors for the first time since the national restrictions were introduced in March to help tackle the spread of Covid-19.
A survey by the BID has shown that those venues that opened over the weekend focused their attention on offering their customers a place where they could relax, enjoy a bite to eat and drink whilst feeling safe.
Many businesses have fully acknowledged the compromises that must be undertaken to achieve this such as loss of seating space & strict guidelines on booking times albeit it that these steps are essential to achieving consumer confidence.
Most of the hospitality businesses that opened at the weekend were fully booked throughout the majority of Saturday demonstrating consumers eagerness to visit their favourite eateries and bars and thanks to the processes that were implemented by the businesses, Police and other agencies have also praised the behaviour of those visiting town.
As expected, there were some small issues that arose on the first day of the restrictions being eased (Saturday), mainly around social distancing. The council and police have been working with a handful of venues to help them follow the Government guidelines and ensure people can continue visiting the town centre as safely as possible.
Cllr Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “The council, BID, police and other partners worked very closely to seek to ensure the easing of the lockdown restrictions happened as smoothly as possible.
“We are all committed to making the town centre as safer place as possible to visit. We always knew there were going to be some small issues to resolve and we are working in partnership with our pubs and clubs to continue to learn and offer a safe environment.
“However, to support the efforts all of us are making I would urge visitors to the town centre to play their part and follow the social distancing measures so we can all enjoy the fantastic venues we have on offer.”
Business Improvement District Manager – Our Colchester, Sam Good, added: “With most of our business having stopped trading for almost four months, we are incredibly proud of how our businesses have dedicated their time, effort and finances to implement processes to deliver the safest possible environment for customers.
“Colchester town centre has an amazing community of business owners, managers and staff who operate to deliver customers the most enjoyable experience possible. We must also commend the public for coming out to support our businesses and respecting the rules that have been put in place.
“Please continue to visit your local pubs, bars, restaurants and other businesses at a time where your support is most needed however, it is paramount that people feel safe and have confidence in visiting. If anyone has any questions around places they wish to visit, give them a call and they will run you through all of their operating plans to reassure you that your safety is paramount.”