A RESTAURANT owner has stressed the importance of people in St Helens doing "the right thing as a community", to see the town get through the coronavirus crisis, together.

Charlie Chan, the owner of Mr Chan's restaurant, based on North Road, which has been a feature of the town for more than 30 years, who brought Chinese Takeaways into St Helens from more than half a century ago, called on people to "be sensible and think of others within our community" and to work together through these tough times.

The restaurant provided a meals-at-home service during the period of the first lockdown in March, reopening its doors for diners in August.

The town faces tougher coronavirus restrictions after being placed into Tier Three, although restaurants are able to remain open.

"I had expected and prepared for the worst, that all hospitality had to close. So it is a bonus for us that restaurants have been spared." said Charlie.

"Over the past few months we've been working really hard to provide both a pickup and delivery online service. Diversifying to survive and keep our staff in employment, and providing some semblance of normality to the community. We are lucky and grateful to have a large customer base to keep us going."

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He said that, while the pandemic and restrictions will provide huge challenges, businesses must be sensitive to the constant changes to the advice given out for the protection of the community and diversify according to the ever changing demands of government advice against COVID-19.

Charlie added: "Obviously we have to follow guidelines, and more importantly implement practises that go beyond the minimal requirements outlined by the government to give our customers confidence in the service that we provide. "

"On March 21 we started a restaurant meals-at-home service, to give our customers a sense of normality in these abnormal times.

"We also implemented our own track and tracing in that period and also wore protective equipment right from the outset of the pandemic. Our premises had to be modified to suit the requirements very quickly- within 12 hours of lockdown, in March. Anticipating, and being one step ahead of the guidelines, helped."

The restrictions imposed due to the pandemic have already had a devastating impact on our lives and consequently many of the town's businesses.

"The uncertainty of our immediate future and the demands of these tough restrictions have impacted so many of our lives and businesses, that it is no wonder that we now live with so much fear" added Mr Chan.

"It is right and sensible to be afraid of this virus, and the consequences of not heeding the danger of affecting your loved ones. And the answer is to try to understand the disease and the variable risks for different individuals. So we all must behave prudently to err on the side of caution for the sake of others rather than ourselves."

Mr Chan called on people to work together to behave with some common sense to get the community through the crisis.

"I think if we are going to survive the rough ride, we need to do the right thing as a community, together," he said.

"We will have to be sensible with how we behave, and be selfless towards others in the community.

"It would help tremendously if we remained focused on the dim light at the end of the tunnel, rather than despair about the hopelessness of the future!" 

"Also, let us not forget our amazing NHS staff and the sacrifices that they have to make."