THE councillor in charge of community safety in St Helens said the public must “all play our part” ahead of pubs reopening next month.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a green light for all pubs, restaurants, and hotels to reopen from July 4.

Several other businesses will also be allowed to reopen, such as barbers, hair salons and cinemas.

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Since then, the government has published detailed guidance of what measures businesses need to do in order to be “COVID-secure”.

Cllr Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said the authority is working with businesses to prepare them for the reopening.

But the Newton Labour councillor said the public also have a duty to take extra precautions to stop the virus from spreading.

Cllr Bell said: “The gradual reopening of many more businesses is welcome but it is also important that as a licensing authority we make sure that the public will not be adversely affected by any changes that businesses might want to make.

“We are here to protect the public as a whole and our aims are to prevent crime and disorder, public nuisance, protect children from harm and promote public safety.

“As we work through the new guidance it is important to remember that everyone will have a very different experience at pubs, bars and restaurants to continue those aims.

“They will be operating on a reduced capacity, many with mitigating measures too. We all have to play our part through practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene to reduce the risk to ourselves and others from coronavirus.”

To help with the reopening, the government will also relax the two metre social distancing rule, replacing it with ‘one metre plus’ in situations where keeping two metres apart is not possible.

St Helens Star: Pubs such as the The Cricketers Arms (pictured) have already installed a range of protective measures in preparation for the reopening Pubs such as the The Cricketers Arms (pictured) have already installed a range of protective measures in preparation for the reopening

This means people can maintain one metre apart, as long as other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus.

These include wearing a face mask or covering, installing plastic screens, and providing extra handwashing facilities.

Cllr Bell urged any licensed premises to get in touch with the council’s licensing department, who will be able to assist them in preparing for the reopening.

Cllr Bell said: “From the start of lockdown teams across St Helens Borough Council have been supporting businesses to continue to operate by diversifying their business.

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“It’s vitally important for our economy that licensed premises like pubs, bars, restaurants are backed by us to continue to trade and we have been promoting them through #StHelensIsOpen, particularly as many of these premises are small independent businesses.

“We are already working with many of those businesses to prepare them to open from July 4 and any licensees who have not yet got in touch with our licensing team to get help with reopening are encouraged to email”