Council inspectors find no cases of businesses breaking coronavirus restrictions after reopening at weekend

Sunderland’s bars, pubs and restaurants are complying with new ‘Covid-secure’ rules to keep both customers and staff safe.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 12:33 pm

That’s the message from Sunderland City Council, as figures show that around a quarter of the city’s venues reopened around Super Saturday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last month that parts of the hospitality sector could reopen to customers from Saturday, July 4 – but only if social distancing guidelines could be followed.

This latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown rules reduced two-metre social distancing to ‘one-metre plus’, where the former is not possible.

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And, according to the council, Sunderland’s reopened businesses are abiding by ‘Covid-secure’ rules to ensure a safe experience.

The local authority has not yet had to carry out any enforcement action, but will continue to monitor and advise businesses going forward.

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Councillor Michael Mordey, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for environment, applauded the venues’ compliance – and reminded the city’s people to continue acting ‘sensibly and correctly’.

He said: “We have found generally good levels of social distancing and compliance with Covid regulations from all the pubs, bars and restaurants that are now open.

“No enforcement or regulatory action has been necessary and, in the interests of public health and safety, we are continuing to monitor and advise.

“From the 423 that could have reopened on or since Saturday 4 July, we are aware of 110 that have chosen to do so.”

Super Saturday also saw hair salons and barbershops welcome customers for the first time since March, with some seeing queues of customers outside.

On a week where things changed for much of England, Leicester – the first place to be put back into ‘local lockdown’ by the Government – saw non-essential retailers close again, with hospitality venues unable to open at all.

Leicester had a coronavirus case rate of 141.3 per 100,000 people for the week ending June 28, Public Health England figures published on Thursday, July 2 showed.

Sunderland’s case rate for the same dates was 1.8 per 100,000.

Coun Mordey added: “If everybody across the city acts sensibly and correctly, and is mindful of all the public health advice, then we can keep our Covid rates low.”

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