West Midlands Police have urged people to “act sensibly” on Saturday, adding that they will not be ‘policing’ venues, but will be on hand to help.
West Midlands Police together with local councils have been working with hospitality venues in Coventry to help them reopen safely on Saturday, 4 July.
Following recent updates to government guidance, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen from this weekend, as long as they adhere to social distancing and safety measures that protect both staff, customers and the public.
It follows more than three months of closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Local police officers and councils are working with premises to understand how venues intend to operate safely and assess any plans to extend or request for outdoor seating areas.
Chief Superintendent Steve Graham, police commander said: “Businesses have suffered financially as a result of the lockdown measures and it’s great to see them being able to reopen this weekend.
“However we need people to take personal responsibility for their actions and behaviour – observe the social distancing measures that will be in place and follow instructions laid out by venues so they are able to operate effectively and stay open.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to patrol our towns and city centres and obviously this weekend will continue to put the appropriate resources in place.
“We will not be ‘policing’ measures in venues, this is the responsibility of licensees but clearly we will be on hand should the need arise.”
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “Saturday is set to be a busy day for West Midlands Police.
“Preparations are underway and we are working closely with pubs, to mitigate the threat of disorder. I would urge people to act sensibly on Saturday.”
As well as businesses reopening, West Midlands Police are warning anyone planning to attend an illegal rave this weekend that they risk being arrested and prosecuted.
Recent raves in Manchester have attracted thousands of people – in clear breach of coronavirus regulations – and ended in tragedy with one man dying from a suspected drug overdose and another being stabbed.
Ch Supt Graham, continued: “Events like this are illegal. They are unacceptable at any time but even more so during a pandemic in which large gatherings are banned to help stop the spread of a killer virus.
“We are sending a strong warning to those thinking about attending such events – you could face enforcement action and receive a criminal record.
“Finally, we’re calling on the public to help us. If you have any intelligence or hear about an event taking place, please get in touch with us so we can prevent it and ultimately save lives. The key to stopping these events is early intelligence.”