Extra police as pub gardens opening could coincide with Canaries promotion
- Credit: Archant
Police have appealed to pub garden revellers to follow landlords' advice on the first weekend since reopening.
Extra police officers will be on duty for the weekend, which could coincide with celebrations of Norwich City gaining promotion.
Pubs, bars and restaurants open outdoors over the weekend for the first time after being closed for more than four months.
Drinkers in Norwich planning to mark the Canaries Premier League promotion bid on Saturday are being urged to keep any celebrations within the regulations and avoid gathering in groups of more than six people.
Temporary assistant chief constable Julie Wvendth said: "We expect pub gardens will be busy this weekend with people taking full advantage of the easing of these restrictions.
“This third lockdown has been challenging and the lifting of restrictions is a welcome step forward on the roadmap out of lockdown.
“We want people to enjoy themselves but to do so safely and sensibly, following the instructions of staff at premises.
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“We have additional officers on duty across the weekend who will be able to respond and deal with any issues which might arise.”
With many people expected to take advantage of the chance to meet with family and friends at venues outside, council, health and police leaders have all urged people to ‘play it safe’ by sticking to social distancing guidelines.
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Local authorities have been working closely with other agencies, including the police, to make sure venues are aware of their licensing obligations and Covid guidelines.
Council officials will lead enforcement of business premises, the police will focus on individual breaches and other alcohol related offences.
Tom McCabe, from Norfolk Resilience Forum, said: "The easing of restrictions has given us a chance to see friends again, enjoy a meal out and to begin to move towards normality, but we all need to remember it is only the first step.
“For the remaining lockdown rules to be safely released, we need to act sensibly and avoid spreading the virus.
“To do that, everyone needs to continue to social distance, obey the ‘Rule of Six’ and avoid meeting people outside your bubble indoors.
“Only if we all keep following the rules will we be able to keep Covid numbers low and continue to follow the government’s roadmap.”