HIGH streets across Barrow Borough are set to reopen next week as lockdown restrictions are further-eased as part of the government’s Covid-19 response.
From Monday, April 12, non-essential retail premises will be able to reopen, along with most outdoor attractions and indoor leisure facilities. Pubs will also be able to serve customers in outdoor drinking spaces, subject to strict guidelines.
Public areas in town centres across the borough will have new signage, encouraging visitors to maintain social distancing, and follow the hands, face, space guidance.
A spokesperson for Barrow Borough Council said: "We are looking forward to our high streets opening and to seeing residents and visitors to the area supporting our local businesses.
"But we must ask that everyone abides by the continued guidance around social distancing and the wearing of masks when indoors.
"A lot of work has gone into ensuring that our high streets are as safe as they possibly can be, but we all need to pull together to ensure that infection rates remain low and that the virus is contained."
Step two in the government’s roadmap allows the reopening of:
- Non-essential retail
- Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons
- Public buildings, including libraries and community centres
- Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups)
- Most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas
Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors, and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’).
Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households.
Meanwhile, funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners and the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.
Step Two builds upon the measures introduced in Step One, which allowed two households to meet up outdoors, outdoor facilities such as tennis courts to reopen, and the end of the ‘stay at home’ rule.
The council spokesperson said: “The easing measures included in Step Two mark a considerable step forward on the path to normality.
"The vast majority of people across Barrow Borough have been fantastic in observing the rules of lockdown.
"We look forward to seeing residents enjoying the freedoms that Step Two brings in a sensible and considerate way."