Outdoor hospitality was allowed to reopen again last Monday (12 April), with pubs, bars and restaurants able to serve food and drink to customers sitting outside.
Officers from West Midlands Police and the City of Wolverhampton Council have been out and about to support businesses and ensure everyone is adhering to the rules – and have reported good compliance from the vast majority of revellers.
Superintendent Simon Inglis of Wolverhampton Police said: "I’d like to thank the community for their overwhelming support and compliance with restrictions over the weekend as many enjoyed the fine weather in the city’s beer gardens and outdoor spaces.
"There was a risk that some people would not follow the rules and that this would require our officers and the council to intervene and carry out enforcement activity. However, the overwhelming majority of the community engaged in peaceful and complaint socialising which was great to see for both the economy and safety of the city.
"There were a very small number of breaches of the rules, and we and the council have begun follow up action against the establishments involved.
"However, overall the situation was a very positive one and long may that continue – my request is that you all continue to enjoy yourselves in the same manner over the coming weeks. This will support the opening up of inside hospitality on 17 May, so the more we comply now, the more we will be able to enjoy ourselves later."
The joint engagement and surveillance activity by police and the council will continue over the coming weeks to ensure the city's pubs, bars and restaurants remain Covid-secure.
Ross Cook, the council’s Director for City Environment, said: “The council has worked closely with local businesses, providing advice to enable them to implement the latest Covid-19 guidance and reopen safely.
“All businesses can continue to get help and advice from our Trade With Confidence website, where they can access a range of webinars or ask the team to contact them – please visit Trade with Confidence for details.”
People who wish to report a business which they feel is not acting in a Covid-secure manner can do so at Report COVID-19 rule-breaking.
John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "It's great to see that the majority of people are following the rules and safely enjoying outdoor hospitality once again.
"As more places open, more people mix, which leads to an increased risk of transmission – that's why it's so important that people continue to follow the Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air guidance.
“Please remember that you can only meet with people who are not in your household or support bubble if you do so outdoors, and then only as a group of up to 6 or 2 different households. You also need to social distance from people you don't live with.
"If you are planning on meeting up with others, please get a rapid Covid-19 test first so you can be reassured you don't pose a risk to others.
“As soon as you are eligible, please make sure you get your Covid-19 vaccination and, don't forget, even after you've had both jabs you still need to follow the rules in place to stop the spread of Covid-19."
More information on rapid testing for people without symptoms of Covid-19 is available at Coronavirus Testing. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 is reminded they should immediately self isolate and book a PCR test by visiting GOV.UK or calling 119.