Emergency services in Sussex prepare for surge in demand as pubs and restaurants reopen

Sussex Police

Public services have come together to urge residents to stay safe and stay alert to the coronavirus as the lockdown is further lifted this Saturday.

Pubs, restaurants, hair salons and other leisure facilities will be allowed to reopen from July 4, on what has been dubbed ‘super Saturday’.

Local services are preparing for a surge in demand, with the prospect of warm weather and the relaxation of the social distancing measures encouraging more visitors to enjoy the coast and night-time economy.

With the NHS set to mark its 72nd year on Sunday, the call to the public is to pay a fitting tribute by following guidance and avoiding unnecessary risk this weekend.

It comes after incidents last week where huge numbers of visitors left roads gridlocked near Camber and the police and the local authority left dealing with the aftermath of large gatherings in Brighton and Hove.

The message from partner organisations ahead of Saturday 4 July is clear: enjoy yourself but stay safe and respect our local communities.

Chair of Sussex Resilience Forum, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller said: “Our businesses and communities are understandably welcoming the further easing of restrictions planned.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the additional freedom this will bring but our plea is to do this safely and to avoid placing additional strain on emergency services and the health service that have all worked so hard to prevent the public during this pandemic.

“The fact that the re-opening coincides with the 72nd anniversary of our health service, which has demonstrated its incredible resilience and relentless care throughout this pandemic, makes our message even more important.

“For many, the experience of visiting a pub or restaurant will be very different, as social distancing restrictions will remain in place, and large gatherings continue to be prohibited.

“This means that pubs and restaurants will have a number of measures in place, with limits on the number of customers they can welcome into their premises.

“It’s crucial people plan ahead, contact the venue they are visiting or check their website to find out how to do this in a safe way.”

Police and local authorities are working closely together to support the further re-opening of the local economy with a view to maximising public safety and to preventing and tackling anti-social or criminal behaviour and the impact of this on our local communities.

Those who do decide to visit pubs and restaurants, are encouraged to take the following steps to ensure their trip is as safe as possible:

– Follow social distancing guidance at all times

– Plan ahead – many pubs and restaurants will be working to a strict ‘bookings only’ policy to limit numbers

– Avoid large gatherings and do not congregate outside licensed premises

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller continues; “What is important now, is that we all continue to support our communities in preventing the spread of the virus, which remains a real risk.

“Our teams across the SRF will be working hard to ensure that resources are in place to respond to demand, but we would ask everyone to play their part by working with us.

“Please enjoy our pubs and restaurants sensibly, take note of the new restrictions in place, and avoid large crowds to keep each other safe.”

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Brighton & Hove Independent