Support Local Businesses in Stage 4

On Monday 19th July, step 4 of the government’s roadmap came into force, lifting most legal restrictions across the country. This so-called ‘final phase’ of the Covid roadmap enables businesses across all sectors, including the nightlife industry, to resume their services once again.  

While this is no doubt being welcomed with open arms (more so given the recent tropical climate), there is no shying away from recent Covid facts and figures. Cases of the virus remain high, and the number of people being ‘pinged’ to isolate is rapidly growing. With this in mind, it is essential that Newbury residents and visitors take responsibility and continue to act with caution, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

We’re calling on everyone to respect any rules put in place by individual businesses, from hospitality to healthcare, for the safety and peace of mind of their staff and customers. 

Additionally, our team is frequently liaising with local businesses to understand the sorts of rules still in place in the town centre. The aim is to help spread awareness so that the public can make informed decisions on where to visit and to abide by the individual rules when doing so.  

Popular town centre hairdressers, Jason Palmer Hairdressing, is just one local business keeping some of the previous rules in place.  

Jason Palmer, salon owner and BID Board Member and Directorstates:

I’m delighted that we’re continuing to move toward to a more “normal” salon environment. However, Monday's message clearly outlined the need to approach this next phase carefully.

As a team, we’ve decided to continue wearing masks and are asking our customers to do the same. Hand sanitising will also be mandatory, but we’re removing the rule that limits the number of seats in the reception.

Similarly, many pubs and hospitality venues will be extending existing policies. 

Ian Batho, Cow and Cask Pub owner and BID Board Member, says: 

While we’re permitting customers to now order at the bar, we’re still operating as table service only. Staff are required to wear face masks while serving drinks to guests at their tables, and we’re asking customers to remain seated where possible throughout the duration of their stay.

With schools across the country breaking up for summer this week, it’s no surprise many venues targeting younger and older markets are treading carefully too.  

One of Newbury’s newest and most exciting establishments, High Score Arcades, issued this statement: 

We’re continuing to operate as we have done for the past few months: hand sanitiser on arrival, temperature checks, face masks, and thorough cleaning down of stations between sessions.

Furthermore, the largest community and educational hub in Newbury town centre, Newbury Library, will be keeping many rules while seeing a slight relaxation in others. 

Ben Stanmore, Library Manager, states:

While we strongly encourage face mask wearing on site and social distancing measures remain in place, we’re slowly reintroducing some of the key features to the library.

We’ve re-instated furniture to our self-study areas - albeit socially distanced- and have removed time limits for browsing and upped computer usage from one-hour to two-hours.

Melissa Hughes, CEO of Newbury BID, claims it’s no surprise many businesses are remaining vigilant: 

As pleased as we are to see all of Newbury’s town centre businesses finally showing signs of life again, we know that Covid still poses a risk to our local community. It’s important business owners use their best judgment and take sensible precautions to help stop the spread.

For this reason, the local business community is asking everyone to be responsible and respect the rules they’re choosing to continue with. They have worked tirelessly since reopening to protect their staff and customers with sensible safety measures. It would be devastating if they were forced to close their doors again, even for short periods whilst staff have to self-isolate.

We’ve already seen a number of town centre businesses shut recently due to staff shortages. Be mindful that different venues will have different requirements in place, so check their social media or on-site signage for details and please do your bit to protect their staff and other customers

You can read the Government’s Moving to Step 4 of the Roadmap guidance document here and their COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 guidance document here.

Please note that we have asked West Berkshire Council’s Public Protection Team for specific advice and guidance for local businesses. Please see our update here for their advice and enforcement strategy.

If you need specific, tailored advice or guidance for your business, please contact West Berkshire Council’s Public Protection Partnership directly. You can find their contact details on their website here.

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