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Council urges residents to play their part in Watford’s safe reopening weekend

Watford Borough Council is working closely with the town’s restaurants, pubs and bars to get ready to safely reopen to the public from Saturday 4 July. Given Watford’s variety of excellent eateries, pubs and bars, the reopening is very welcome, with many of us looking forward to returning to some normality. But it will also be a challenge for the businesses to adapt to the new ways of working that are in place to stop the spread of the virus, prevent more deaths in the town and avoid a second lockdown.

Both the businesses and the council are calling on you to help them make it a safe reopening and keep Covid-19 infection rates in Watford down. This includes only visiting in the allowed groups - so, if you are going inside a venue only two households or bubbles should meet, and if you are sitting outside then no more than six people should meet but these can be from different households.

As well as limiting numbers allowed into venues, ensuring social distancing continues and meeting hygiene standards, the businesses will also be requiring you to give some personal details when you enter premises. This information will only be kept for a short while but it is key to the NHS tracing you if you have been at risk of contracting the disease.

Most venues will operate table-only service and contactless payments may be the only way for you to pay. Please bear with the businesses, respect the staff and follow the venue rules. These may vary slightly from place-to-place but are all there to keep you and the staff serving you safe. Many of the town’s restaurants and bars are also operating a booking system to make it a smooth reopening weekend, so to avoid disappointment, make sure you book in advance.

Elected Mayor Peter Taylor said: “This has been a difficult time for many local businesses and so I’m pleased that pubs, bars and restaurants in Watford can now re-open. Our Environmental Health Team have been working incredibly hard with local businesses to prepare for this and I am very grateful for their hard work. Pubs and bars have taken tremendous steps to operate safely and we want to be as flexible as possible to help where we can. I would urge everyone in our town to continue to stay safe and consider others over the weekend. We are all looking forward to welcoming back our pubs, cafes and restaurants and need to do this in a safe way.”

Chief Executive of Watford BID Maria Manion added: “The restaurants and bars are an important part of Watford and are vital to our local economy. We look forward to welcoming back people into the town. Over the past few weeks, the businesses have worked hard to try and ensure that people feel welcomed and safe when returning with friends and family. We would encourage people to support our businesses, and enjoy the town, but please act responsibly and stay safe.”

To play your part in Watford’s safe reopening and to support our emergency services, remember to:

• Keep your distance from other household or bubbles – 2m
• Wash or sanitise your hands regularly
• Only meet in the allowed groups
• Stay at home if you don’t feel well
• Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
• Know your limits and drink responsibly
For more information on staying safe, visit www.watford.gov.uk/coronavirus