14 HORSHAM www.wscountytimes.co.uk Thursday,July9,2020 JPI MEDIA CAMPAIGN Time To...Go Out #supportlocal People urged to enjoy lockdown easing sensibly E mergency services across Sussex geared up for a surge in demand at the weekend as pubs and restaurants reopened for the first time in three months. Ahead of ‘Super Saturday’, police, the ambulance service and local authorities came together to urge people to stay safe and enjoy the reopening of the night-time economy responsibly to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the NHS. Reflecting on the weekend, police said towns and cities across the county had been about as busy as would have been expected on a ‘normal’ July night – and thanked the public for behaving sensibly. Superintendent Graham Barnett said: “The re-opening of pubs and restaurants over the weekend passed generally without incident and I would like to thank both the premises owners and operators, along with their customers, for the responsible way in which they made their return to business, albeit under somewhat different circumstances to take personal responsibility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.” Police have issued the following advice to people who decide to visit pubs and restaurants, in order to ensure their trip is as safe as possible: Follow social distancing guidance at all times Plan ahead – many pubs and restaurants will be working to a strict ‘bookings only’ policy to limit numbers Avoid large gatherings and do not congregate outside licensed premises Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller, who is also chairman of the Sussex Resilience Forum, said: “For many, the experience of visiting a pub or restaurant will be very different, as social distancing restrictions will remain in place, and large gatherings continue to be prohibited. This means that pubs and restaurants will have a number of measures in place, with limits on the number of customers they can welcome into their premises. It’s crucial people plan ahead, contact the venue they are visiting or check Time To... ■ ■ Go Out #supportlocal ■ what we are used to. While Saturday evening was a little busier for us than in recent lockdown months, that was not surprising and we were fully prepared. “However, it was really not much different to what we would have expected on a ‘normal’ July night.” As the lockdown eases, he reminded people to continue to protect the NHS and follow social distancing measures. He said: “Moving forward, I would reiterate my appeal to people to enjoy themselves, but to act responsibly and stay safe. Please continue to take note of the new restrictions in place, don’t congregate outside licensed premises and avoid large crowds to keep each other safe. “Social distancing restrictions remain in place and large gatherings continue to be prohibited. “It is not our responsibility to police social distancing as this is guidance and not law, but we are expecting you to their website to find out how to do this in a safe way. “What is important now, is that we all continue to support our communities in preventing the spread of the virus, which remains a real risk. Our teams across the Sussex Resilience Forum will be working hard to ensure that resources are in place to respond to demand, but we would ask everyone to play their part by working with us. “Please enjoy our pubs and restaurants sensibly, take note of the new restrictions in place, and avoid large crowds to keep each other safe.” Have you been back to your local pub yet? What was it like? Email the newsdesk to share your experience. No respite for ambulance staff AMBULANCE STAFF are expecting demand for the service to remain high as the summer months approach. Tim Fellows, South East Coast Ambulance Service Operating Unit Manager, said the service had been ‘very, very busy’ throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, he said: “We are as busy now as we were last year, but without the nighttime economy.” He said the intensity of the work for ambulance staff had increased, particular due to having to use and regularly change Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). “Our staff have worked incredibly hard since February,” he said. “It’s been an exhausting time for staff, and really we are now going into the summer peak, so there’s no respite for our staff.” He echoed calls from the police and local authorities for people to be sensible as the night-time economy returns and more visitors are attracted to the coast. “The lifting of the lockdown is a great improvement for everybody, but that comes with a little bit of self-responsibility,” he said. “Go out and enjoy yourself, follow the guidance. “But don’t drink to excess. We know that as people drink to excess, their behaviour deteriorates as well. “Just take care. Obviously enjoy it, enjoy the return to normality, but do things with a bit of moderation. “We really are still very busy IF YOU ARE A BUSINESS WELCOMING BACK YOUR CUSTOMERS NEXT WEEK AND WANT TO
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