Kent Police is urging the public to take a “responsible approach” when bars, pubs and restaurants reopen tomorrow (July 4).
Many venues across the isle, and nationally, are able to reopen with covid measures in place following an easing of the coronavirus restrictions.
However, there are many changes to how venues can operate with social distancing requiring at least a one metre space, two metres ideally, between people, increased hygiene, cleaning and sanitising routines and a new law making gatherings of groups of more than 30 people, except for the limited circumstances as set out in law, illegal.
Pubs and restaurants will be able to use car parks and terraces as dining and drinking areas, using their existing seating licenses.
In a blow to many pubs and those in the performance and music industry venues are not allowed to host live performances, including drama, comedy and music.
Measures include separate entrance and exit routes, lowering capacity, staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
Social distancing must also be applied to toilet facilities and venues are being asked to take details of customers in case test and trace measures are needed. Orders will be made via table service and payment should be contactless.
Kent Police say although venues are able to open the doors coronavirus is still a serious risk to health and certain restrictions remain in place to keep the public safe.
Although restrictions are being lifted people need to follow the Government’s guidance to mitigate the transmission of the virus, including social distancing, increased hygiene measures and following the instructions of staff.
Officers say people using the opportunity to drink to excess and become vulnerable to harm or cause harm to others will not be tolerated.
Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said: “Of course we want people to have fun, but they must remain responsible, sensible and mindful of restrictions still in place.
“Over recent weeks we have been working with local pubs, bars and restaurants to ensure we are all well prepared to maximise safety and cut crime.
“Across the county we will be taking any incidents of anti-social and criminal behaviour very seriously and perpetrators will be dealt with swiftly.
“I want to remind everyone who is planning to visit a pub, bar or restaurant on Saturday to know their limit, don’t put yourself or others at risk, plan your day and consider how you will get home safely.”