People urged to enjoy the weekend sensibly

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With good weather expected across Staffordshire this weekend people are being urged to take precautions to avoid the spread of Covid-19 – and especially in crowded pubs and bars.

Staffordshire County Council’s Director of Health and Care Dr Richard Harling issued the appeal in the wake of 11 cases transmitted by people attending the Crown and Anchor pub in Stone over one weekend.

The crown and anchor in Stone

Dr Harling said: “It’s a lovely weekend and anyone who is out should ensure that they follow national guidance for Covid-19 control and maintain strict hygiene and social distancing.

“We have already had one large outbreak of Covid-19 associated with too many people in a busy pub and we don’t want any more.

Mobile testing unit set up in Stone – Broadcast Brothers

“Pubs and bars are expected to take a series of precautions to keep staff and customers safe, but it’s also up to customers to play their part and do the right thing to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

Local authorities do have new powers to place restrictions on premises that are not following Coronavirus control guidance.

Dr Harling added: “We don’t want to have to impose restrictions on businesses as we know this affects jobs and livelihoods, but there’s no doubt we also have a duty to protect the community from the spread of Covid-19.”

People have been allowed back into pubs and bars under strict conditions since 4th July.

Customers should give their name and contact details on arrival for any subsequent tracing purposes and are expected to follow the ‘one metre plus’ social distancing guidance at the very least.

Most venues are meeting people on arrival, seating them, providing table service to minimise movement within the building and operating one-way systems, as well as providing hand sanitizer, floor markings and controlled access to toilets.