Public health officers to visit South Tyneside pubs and restaurants after spate of coronavirus infections

Public health officers will be visiting pubs and restaurants over the bank holiday weekend following a spate of temporary closures linked to new coronavirus infections.

South Tyneside Council will be proactively monitoring and offering advice and guidance to businesses following what it describes as “a small number of confirmed cases associated with pubs and restaurants in the Borough over recent days”.

Tom Hall, director of public health for South Tyneside, said: “We know that the past few months have been extremely tough for businesses and they have had to develop and implement risk assessments to demonstrate that they can open safely.

A number of coronavirus infections associated with South Tyneside pubs and restaurants have been confirmed in the last week.

“It is really important that businesses continue to ensure those risk assessments are being correctly implemented, managed and followed in order to protect their staff and customers.

“We are also urging members of the public to help strengthen practices and minimise risk across the borough.

"We want anyone who doesn’t feel like a premise is Covid secure to have the confidence to tell the manager of the venue and residents should leave if they don’t feel comfortable.

“It is especially important if we are to avoid a situation that might mean we have to stop socialising, seeing friends and family and eating out – as seen in other parts of the country where extra restrictions have been put in place.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and are working proactively with our communities and businesses to ensure people remain as safe and vigilant as possible.”

To ensure their premises are Covid secure, the council said businesses should be:

Ensuring adequate handwashing and hand sanitising facilities are available; Ensuring guests can socially distance and that venues are not overcrowded; Prohibiting groups of more than two households, unless it is a pre-organised event run within the law; Capturing information on all guests for NHS Test and Trace purposes; Ensuring staff can socially distance safely and providing face coverings and masks if required.

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