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Merseyside Police advice ahead of reopening bars and restaurants

Merseyside Police has been working alongside local authorities, the NHS, businesses and the public to ensure that the reopening of our county’s night-time economy this weekend is a safe and enjoyable step towards normality. 

From Saturday 4 July, businesses in the hospitality sector will be able to reopen, provided that they meet government criteria for keeping staff and customers as safe as possible. As with any weekend, we will have an extensive policing plan in place, to support those businesses, give advice and keep the public safe. 

Please take a minute to view our video in which Chief Inspector Andy Creer and licensees explain what changes are being made to how businesses operate, plus how you can avoid putting any extra pressure on the NHS and other emergency services. 

Dr Tristan Cope, Medical Director of Liverpool University Hospitals, said: “As lockdown measures are eased further with bars and restaurants opening up, we would encourage people to be safe.

“It is important people continue to follow social distancing instructions and the safety guidance to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, which remains a very serious health risk.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic NHS Staff and our hospitals have received incredible and generous support from the people of Liverpool.  The best way to support the NHS now is by observing social distancing and having an enjoyable but safe time from this weekend onwards.”

Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Natalie Perischine said: “This weekend is of course a significant step in the reopening of many businesses across Merseyside, but we must all tread carefully as people get used to how things will operate. 

“Anyone intending to socialise in Merseyside this weekend needs to support each other, all businesses, and of course our emergency services, by going out in a responsible way. 

“We are still sadly in the midst of a pandemic, and must do all we can to keep making progress. We simply cannot afford for this weekend to undo everyone’s efforts. 

“The last thing anyone wants is for all Merseyside’s patience and selflessness to unravel and for lockdown measures to be reintroduced, as we are now seeing in other areas. We’d all be taking a massive backwards step and losing some hard-earned freedoms.

“Things will look and feel difference for those who are intending to go out. You’ll have to book in, queue up, and ensure social distancing is maintained throughout. People will need to be really patient and respect those who are working as hard as possible in these strange conditions including door staff, bar staff and people serving you. 

“You’ll also see new processes in place, such as pedestrianised roads in places including Liverpool City Centre and Prescot Town Centre, to help people social distance outside bars. These measures are designed specifically with your safety in mind and we are hugely supportive of them.

“Planning a night out in advance has never been more important, so please ensure you’re allowed into where you want to go, stay safe from the spread of the virus, and ensure travel arrangements are in place so you can safely get home. Do your research and put the safety of yourself and others first.

“We’ll have a major policing operation in place alongside businesses and our Local Authorities this weekend. Our officers will be patrolling those busy city and town centres to encourage, explain and educate people, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on all of our key locations, through patrols, CCTV monitoring and measures such as Dispersal Zones, should they be necessary.

“Our emergency services don’t need any extra strain at these times, so remember that NHS staff need to be available for emergencies, not dealing with avoidable situations where people have overindulged or got into fights. If you do come out, enjoy yourselves, stay safe and be kind to each other.

“Report any concerns to us via 999 in an emergency, or through passing information via @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, and we’ll take the appropriate action."

Cllr Pat Hackett, Leader of Wirral Council, said: “As our shops, high streets and night time economy begin to buzz again, it’s so important that members of the public are aware of the changes they can expect, especially if you’re venturing on your first few trips out of lockdown.

“We knew from the start, that lockdown would be temporary – and the people of Wirral have done this borough proud in how they’ve embraced the changes to their daily lives for the good of our most vulnerable.

“But, as restrictions continue to lift, and venues begin to reopen, I think it’s vital that we remember the reason things came to a swift halt in the first place: we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and public health must come first.

“Coronavirus is still circulating in our communities and the best way to slow the spread and avoid a lockdown at a local level is to stay home, as often as you can. I’m urging residents to think twice before heading out, especially on 4th July, and consider our most vulnerable.

“Please stay home – especially if you have symptoms - and avoid the queues, keep washing your hands, social distance with people you don’t live with and ultimately, help us to Keep. Wirral. Well.”