On Saturday 4th July 2020, pubs, bars, and restaurants can legally reopen after further relaxation of the lockdown by Government.
The reopening process has been happening quickly and trying to help our hospitality industry get back on its feet quickly. This has included allowing over 70 pubs, bars, and restaurants to use outdoor spaces in the city centre and closing 13 city centre streets to accommodate their needs. We are likely to see further efforts to accommodate our city centre hospitality businesses in the weeks and months ahead too.
As City Centre Councillors, we have been encouraging measures to enable our hospitality businesses to be able to use outdoor space in order to open as viable businesses. This will protect jobs for their employees, including for the many city centre residents who work in hospitality.
However, we have also been very clear that we expect all reopening businesses to operate a good neighbour policy. The city centre is our home and we know that city centre residents like us enjoy living in a vibrant, thriving city centre with an excellent offer of pubs, restaurants, and bars. Nonetheless, we also expect good management by venues to keep people safe and protect residents from noise and nuisance.
This good neighbour policy includes:
- businesses taking an open approach to engagement with their neighbours
- being mindful and respectful of neighbouring residents and other businesses, particularly regarding noise and the use of shared space
- implementing a system for residents to directly raise concerns with the premises, including providing phone numbers of managers to nearby blocks
- commitments from businesses to mitigate and resolve issues where they can.
The temporary permission to use outdoor space is clear – that businesses are required to meet these terms in order to continue operating in public space. We all share the city centre and it will only work if we all respect and remember that.
Councillor Marcus Johns said: “The City Centre is slowly coming back to life in response to the Government relaxing some lockdown measures.”
“A lot of measures have been put in place to reassure people moving around and coming into the city centre that they can do so safely. The Council has been working with businesses so that they can open up safely too. I’m pleased that roads are being pedestrianised and pavement spaces (where there is enough space) reallocated to help businesses open up.”
“One of the best things about living in the city centre is the easy access to so many wonderful pubs, bars and restaurants. We are doing our best to protect such a vital part of our city centre economy and the jobs that go along with it.”
“Our vision for a safe, green, and pleasant city centre has had to respond to the Covid-19 crisis and very quickly. I really hope that this extra street activity won’t just be a success for our businesses reopening safely, but will also make our city centre more pleasant and exciting to walk around in the months ahead.”
“I would encourage everyone who is thinking about going out this weekend to check the guidance so that they keep themselves and others safe, and to look into the safety measures that the Council and businesses are putting in place to feel confident. But most of all – please continue to keep two metres away from others.”
Across the city centre, many safety measures have been installed to allow social distancing. Businesses are being required to adhere to strict safety regulations set by the Government to keep their customers safe.
Residents will have seen that the city centre already looks little different. Increased signage, road closures like Deansgate, Thomas St and Stevenson Square, and footpath widening across our city centre are already in place to help people maintain social distancing, and more are planned.
Some bars and restaurants are requiring people to book ahead to ensure they can safely accommodate customers and every business will ask for names and contact details to help with track and tracing Covid cases. We would recommend that you check online the status of anywhere you are planning to visit.
Opening businesses will have installed safety measures in line with Government regulations – such as maximum number of households to a table and table service – and most will request contactless payments where possible. Please do not try to pay with cash.
Please keep in mind that you should only visit a restaurant or pub in your household group (or support bubble), or with one other household, or with up to 5 other people outdoors. The law has not changed in this regard.
The Council has suspended fees for businesses to apply for temporary outdoor seating where limited indoor space would mean they would be unable to reopen otherwise. Businesses can find more guidance and support reopening at welcomebackmanchester.com