The leader of Stafford Borough Council has welcomed the decision to allow more facilities and businesses to reopen from next weekend (Saturday 4 July).
Children and families will be able to use the hugely popular play area of the award-winning Victoria Park in Stafford for the first time since lockdown, as well as the playground at Stonefield Park in Stone and other areas of the borough.
Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers will also be allowed to open their doors again – but with social distancing and safety measures in place – and Stafford Borough Council said it is working with local businesses to help them comply with government guidance.
The Prime Minister announced the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions that would allow businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector to get back up and running from Saturday 4 July.
The play area at Victoria Park has been closed since March. It attracts tens of thousands of local families and visitors every year and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by online travel review site, Trip Advisor, for its great customer feedback. The historic side of the park remains closed while a £2.5 million restoration project is carried out.
Council Leader, Patrick Farrington, (pictured) said: “This is very good news for our restaurants, pubs, and other businesses within the hospitality and leisure sector that have either been closed, or operating under a limited service, for more than three months.
“Since the lockdown we have supported businesses by delivering more than £25 million in grants, along with valuable advice and support, to ensure they survived during this extremely difficult period and that they would be ready to reopen when the time came.
“That support will continue. We are not out of the woods yet, and the safety measures required will make it challenging for businesses to operate at full capacity.”
The council provided signage and advice on social distancing measures around Stafford, Stone and Eccleshall town centres earlier this month to enable stores in the high streets to reopen to shoppers, workers and visitors.
Councillor Farrington also praised local businesses for acting responsibly during the pandemic:
“The announcement is an important step towards kick starting the economy and protecting people’s livelihoods in this sector. These businesses have suffered terribly and now deserve to succeed having been extremely responsible and patient during this difficult time. We have not had to fine or prosecute any owners for breaking lockdown regulations.”
For a full list of guidance on the changes coming in from 4 July go to www.gov.uk/
Financial support and advice for businesses at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/business-support-coronavirus. And a reopening checklist can be found at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/environmental-health-advice-for-businesses
Press Release No 5655