The council's Covid Business Support, environmental health and licensing teams have been offering support and guidance to Wolverhampton's pubs and other hospitality businesses.
Following recent government guidance, hospitality venues can reopen indoors from Monday, provided they adhere to social distancing and safety measures that protect both staff and customers.
It comes on the back of the smooth reopening of non essential shops and outdoor hospitality since 12 Apri and is the culmination of a lot of hard work over many weeks by the council’s Reopening the High Streets Safely group in partnership with the Police, Wolverhampton Business Improvement District and Bilston Business Improvement District.
The group has worked closely with businesses to understand how shops and venues intend to operate safely and has provided critical advice, information and resources to help businesses get back on their feet.
Covid Support Advisors and BID ambassadors are also out and about across the city to assist businesses and visitors.
City of Wolverhampton Council Leader, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “The hospitality sector has suffered financially during lockdown and we all want and need hospitality venues to fully reopen safely.
“Pubs, bars and restaurants are having to takes steps to operate effectively indoors and we want to help where we can.
“It’s about managing the experience for pub and restaurant visitors while mitigating any potential hazards or anti-social behaviour.
“A lot of the guidance relies on sensible co-operation between everyone to help ensure a safe and successful reopening.
“It’s about ensuring businesses operate within the requirements and to support them with any planned changes.
“Customers must also play their part in following Government guidelines to protect themselves and others.”
Wolverhampton Police Superintendent, Simon Inglis, added: “I would like to thank all members of the community who in recent weeks have visited and supported those hospitality locations that have outdoor facilities. We have had very few calls for service and people have complied with the restrictions accordingly, whilst taking the opportunity to enjoy outside food and drinks with friends and family. I would ask that you take the same approach when the restrictions on indoor consumption are lifted. There will still be restrictions in place, and I would ask that these are followed in order that the locations remain safe and premises are permitted to stay open for business. We are only a few weeks away from the final step in this process and it is vital that we stick to the roadmap so that we can do so with confidence and security.”
Wolverhampton Business Improvement District Director, Cherry Shine, said: “We are delighted to see our hospitality businesses reopening indoors. We have a great mix of city centre pubs, bars and restaurants alongside a full range of entertainment venues that are excited to welcome customers back inside. City centre businesses continue to work incredibly hard to implement Covid safe measures and we urge people to support our city centre hospitality sector. You can find a directory of city centre hospitality businesses and venues at Enjoy Wolverhampton.“
Bilston Business Improvement District (BID) Manager, Simon Archer, added: "Hopefully, this last piece of the jigsaw will allow many people to get back to what they enjoy doing most - meeting with friends for a drink or a bite to eat. The Council have invested time and resources to ensure pubs can open safely and I would urge customers to be patient with staff, who are having to continue to follow the guidelines to avoid another virus wave.”
The Council’s Covid Business Support team has written to businesses and is offering to arrange to visit businesses who need help complying with the new guidance.
If you have any queries regarding the requirements or would like some support to help you open your business as safely as possible, please do not hesitate to contact the Commercial Regulation Service on 01902 551155 or email email@example.com.
Businesses should check Business Support for all the latest guidance and support available to them regarding reopening. This web page also includes access to a range of posters produced by the Council for businesses to download and print to inform customers.