Public urged to play their part and act responsibly ahead of pubs reopening on Saturday 4 July

Public urged to play their part and act responsibly ahead of pubs reopening on Saturday 4 July

At the end of June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs, restaurants, and hotels could reopen from July 4.

Several other businesses will also be allowed to reopen, such as barbers, hair salons and cinemas.

Whilst this is a positive step forward in revitalising the economy and showing that Wiltshire is open for business, it is important the public continue to take extra precautions to stop coronavirus from spreading and ensure they act responsibly at this time as anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

Conservative Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection said: "We welcome the gradual reopening of more businesses in Wiltshire and we know many people have been looking forward to a trip to the pub or to visit a restaurant to enjoy the summer weekends with family and friends.

"As the licensing authority we have an important role in ensuring pubs and restaurants are opening with the right conditions in place and adhering to social distancing guidelines. We all know visiting our local pub will be a different experience with new measures in place but it is vital people behave responsibly and respect others when they are out and about.

"I would remind people we all need to respect the measures in place and play our part in practising social distancing and good hand hygiene to reduce the risk to ourselves and others from coronavirus."

Superintendent Gavin Williams, Head of Operations at Wiltshire Police, said: "From 4 July, many pubs and restaurants will reopen with restrictions still in place. However, we must not get away from the fact that Coronavirus is still here and remains a serious threat to public health.

"Whilst we understand and appreciate people will want to take advantage of this opportunity, it is vital that everyone still adheres to the Government guidance, including social distancing, hygiene measures and following instructions from staff. 

"If you are visiting a bar or restaurant, our message is clear; plan your visit, drink responsibly, follow the guidance. 

"We know that the vast majority of people will behave responsibly but some people will drink to excess and become vulnerable to harm or indeed cause harm to others. Anti-social or criminal behaviour will not be tolerated here in Wiltshire and Swindon, and we continue to work with the night-time economy and partners to ensure safety and cut crime."

To help with the reopening, the government will also relax the two metre social distancing rule, replacing it with ‘one metre plus' in situations where keeping two metres apart is not possible.

This means people can maintain one metre apart, as long as other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus.

These include wearing a face mask or covering, installing plastic screens, and providing extra handwashing facilities.

by Charlie Monro,