12:00PM, Friday 26 June 2020
Hairdressers, restaurants and pubs are allowed to reopen to the public from Saturday, July 4 in line with the new Government guidelines.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the next phase to lead the country out of lockdown will be to permit more businesses to resume service after being forced to close in March.
From July 4, the two-metre social distancing rule will be replaced with a ‘one-metre plus’ distance, where it is not possible to stay two metres apart.
Updated Government guidance has been published on how hospitality businesses can reopen safely, including reconfiguring seating and minimising self-service.
Customers could be separated from each other by screens in close contact sectors such as hairdressing, and pubs have also been advised to keep music at a low volume to avoid people shouting – which increases the risk of virus transmission.
Val Docherty, unit manager at the King and Castle pub in Thames Street, said: “I am absolutely over the moon.”
The pub will have hand sanitiser at the entrance and exit of the pub as well as beside the toilets and behind the bar.
“Our job is the make sure that our staff are safe and are customers are safe to make it a pleasant and safe environment for everyone,” Val added.
Joanne Levett, owner of Artworks Haidressers in St Leonard’s Road, said she had been ‘inundated with calls’ since the news was announced.
She said: “We are putting up screens and have disposable gowns and towels.
“We are doing everything we can to keep our staff and customers safe.”
The Giggling Squid, a Thai restaurant located next to the Theatre Royal in Thames Street, has been open for takeaway and Deliveroo orders throughout lockdown but is ‘delighted’ to welcome diners back from Saturday, July 4.
Hannah Johnson, head of PR and marketing at the Giggling Squid, said: “We will be running a reduced capacity, reservations-only system and have stringent health and safety policies in place to adhere to Government guidelines.
“We’re delighted to be able to open our doors again to our guests. Customers can book their tables on our website now.”
Among the places still not allowed to reopen are nightclubs, swimming pools and nail bars.
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