RELAXATION of Welsh Government pandemic restrictions means that – from Monday (Aug 3) – cafes, restaurants and bars can serve customers indoors.
However, with the deadly coronavirus still present, things won’t be back to pre-lockdown normality.
Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart said: “Not acting responsibly or not following the rules could let the virus come back and could lead to lockdown restrictions bring re-imposed as they have in other parts of the UK.
“So please be responsible and stay safe!”
There are big differences to pre-lockdown and these will still apply on Monday and for the foreseeable future. They include:
Not all hospitality venues are open in and around Swansea;
Eating and drinking is only allowed at tables – no groups;
2m social distancing applies;
Premises are being asked to take customer contact details to help with the Welsh Government Test, Trace, Protect process; and
Customers are being asked to plan ahead – including checking opening times and travel arrangements and pre-booking venues wherever possible.
The council is working with partners and businesses to ensure that trading opportunities are maximised whilst keeping people safe.
Cllr Stewart said: “As one of only two areas in Wales to have a Purple Flag which set the standards for the industry – safety has always been at the heart of what we do.
“Now more than ever we want people to feel safe and welcome as they visit hospitality businesses right across the area.
“Our Enjoy Swansea Responsibly campaign asks everybody to be responsible by observing the two-meter rule when out and about, staying home if unwell and washing or sanitising hands as frequently as possible. This way we will all be doing what we can to make sure that we keep each other safe.
“It’s crucial to continue social distancing and to respect all others including those keeping you safe and serving you.
“It’s also important that we do all we can to help the local economy. The council is already doing this with a streamlined process to create pavement cafes, new traffic orders that make Wind Street a pedestrian area all day every day after 11 am and a grant scheme for businesses wishing to buy outdoor furniture.
“For that scheme, we’ve already had more than 60 applications for the grants of up to £8,000; these will help local businesses expand into safe outside space and we hope to make the first payments shortly.”
The council, Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), South Wales Police, businesses and others are working together on the phased re-opening of the hospitality sector in line with government guidelines.
BID continues to advise businesses on regulations and guidance. They have also offered businesses track and trace app evePASS that makes it easy for customers to sign in.
The night-time Help Point, which is funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Swansea Bay University Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust, is open in The Strand on Wednesdays and Saturdays for those in need of assistance.
There are arrangements for queuing systems – and signs around the city centre remind people of the two-metre rule.
Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea BID, said: “BID area businesses have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for the careful re-opening of the city centre. We have been supporting them, with PPE packs, safety advice and guidance.
“We know they are keen to get back to doing what they do best, and consumers want to return to normality. This is a crucial chapter and it is important that we all play our part to ensure things run smoothly.”
People can get more information from the following:
Using the city centre – www.swanseacitycentre.com/covid-19-updates
Welsh Government Test, Trace, Protect – https://gov.wales/test-trace-protect
To apply for a pavement café licence go to www.swansea.gov.uk/pavementcafe
Swansea’s Premises Outdoor Adaptation Grant – www.swansea.gov.uk/outdooradaptationgrant
Outdoor furniture advice – www.swanseabid.co.uk/coronavirus-business-updates-latest-news/