What Bedworth businesses need to know on latest changes to lockdown easing

  Posted: 23.06.20 at 16:56 by Nick Hudson

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THE HALF-EMPTY pint will soon feel a little fuller as Bedworth raised a glass to the end of most of the lockdown measures in England this afternoon.

Townsfolk will be able to visit pubs, restaurants, cinemas, community centres, libraries, go to the hairdressers, stop at guest houses and attend places of worship after being given the go ahead for a mass reopening of businesses on what is being dubbed mini Independence Day.

July 4 will see the two-metre social distancing rule cut back to a new ‘one-metre plus’ arrangement with families able to be reunited, one set of friends allowed round for dinner, sleepovers but still no hugging of loved ones.

Two into one: The two-metre social distancing becomes one-metre plus

Boris Johnson said the "national hibernation" – imposed on March 23 – is beginning to end, and "life is returning to our streets".

The Prime Minister told MPs that progress in tackling the virus meant steps could be taken to "safely ease the lockdown", but "caution will remain our watchword".

Mr Johnson acknowledged that the two-metre rule "effectively makes life impossible for large parts of our economy even without other restrictions".

He added: "We're today publishing guidance on how business can reduce the risk by taking certain steps to protect workers and customers.

"And these include, for instance, avoiding face-to-face seating by changing office layouts, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces, improving ventilation, using protective screens and face coverings, closing non-essential social spaces, providing hand sanitiser, changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams."

With guidance replacing legislation, the PM said he is relying on people using their common sense to limit the spread of the virus.

Officials acknowledged that July 4 is a significant step but remains a long way away from normal life.

Among the measures announced by Mr Johnson:
- Pubs and restaurants will be limited to table service;
- People will be able to stay overnight in hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites;
- Most leisure facilities and tourist attractions can reopen;
- Cinemas, museums and galleries will be allowed to admit visitors; and
- People will be able to go to hairdressers to trim their lockdown locks.

However, nightclubs, soft play centres and other businesses that involve close contact will remain shut – including nail bars and beauty salons.

From July 4, two households of any size will be permitted to meet in any setting – inside or out.

"It will be possible to meet one set of grandparents one weekend, the others the following weekend," he said.

Under the new arrangements, drinkers returning to pubs will be asked to provide contact details to help trace them if there is an outbreak of coronavirus.

Mr Johnson said the measures will help restore a sense of normality after "the toughest restrictions in peacetime history".

One local publican, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “It’s just what we have been waiting for.

“But it is still going to be difficult as we await further announcements on how it’s all going to work.

“It’s the logistics that bother me.

“I see toilets as a particular problem area that will probably need constant monitoring in future.”

So what are the key areas being changed in the latest lockdown easing by the Government?

- Social distancing
The two-metre social distancing rule can now be relaxed and replaced with a "one metre plus" rule.

This involves keeping one metre apart, plus other mitigations such as wearing face coverings, sitting people side to side rather than face to face to reduce transmission, and increased use of hand sanitiser.

- Indoor gatherings
Indoor gatherings of any two households will now be allowed.

People will be able to visit someone's house for a dinner party, for example, or to stay over with grandparents as long as social distancing is observed.

- Reopening businesses
Many venues and businesses will be allowed to reopen, as long as they are "Covid-secure", for example by maintaining social distancing.

These include hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses. Shared facilities must be kept very clean.

Restaurants, cafes, workplace canteens, bars, pubs and cinemas can reopen, as can libraries, community centres and bingo halls.

Places of worship will be allowed to hold services but singing will be banned. And weddings with up to 30 attendees will now be permitted.

Theatres and concert halls can reopen but not for live performances.

Museums and galleries, hair salons and barbers can reopen.

Outdoor playgrounds, outdoor gyms, funfairs, theme parks and adventure parks and activities can reopen.

Amusement arcades, outdoor skating rinks, indoor leisure centres or facilities – including indoor games and recreation – can also open up.

Social clubs, model villages and indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres, and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction, can reopen.

- Some venues must stay shut
But some venues must stay shut, including nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, and indoor play areas including softplay.

Spas, nail bars and beauty salons must also stay closed for now, as must massage, tattoo and piercing parlours.

Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sport venues, must stay closed.
Swimming pools and water parks will stay closed.

Exhibition or conference centres that are to be used for exhibitions or conferences must also stay closed.

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A message from the Editor, Nick Hudson

Hi, I'm Nick Hudson, the Editor of Bedworth Nub News.

I began my local news career almost half a century ago by covering the three towns of Bedworth, Nuneaton & Atherstone for the old Observer. My first job was to collect the immaculately-typed copy of the 'Queen of Memories' Mary Ashmore from her Longford home.

I reported from the sidelines as the forward-thinking Bedworth Urban District Council was joined at the hip with neighbouring Nuneaton and worked as one authority from May 1974.

In 1983 I had the opportunity to launch the Trader weekly newspaper into Bedworth and Nuneaton for free entrepreneur Lionel Pickering.

It would be 30 years before I returned as the press secretary to the borough's first citizen Bob Copland whose charity fund in 2013-14 raised a record-breaking £70,000 and saw the magnificent achievement of the opening of the Mayor's Cafe and Community Gardens by the end of his year in office.

I'm now returning to my journalistic roots and I want you - the great people of Bedworth - to join me in making the news in your own images.

We're going back in time to resurrect a bygone golden age of local reporting - made famous by old colleagues Mort Birch and Alan Robinson who launched the Bedworth Echo 40 years ago and then seven years ago last week when Mort joined another former friend and scribe Steve Evans in creating the monthly Bedworth Post.

Both papers set out to inform, entertain and fascinate with stories about the people and places that reflect the character, flavour and rich heritage of a town steeped in history from the Domesday Book of 1086 through hat making to ribbon weaving and most famously, mining.

Bedworth Nub News will hope to capture all the above while embracing the advantages of the modern digital era where information is available 24/7 with "your town in your pocket".

The town is rooted in community spirit - something that has returned to the landscape of the UK since the awful events of the coronavirus crisis.

And Nub News can be the perfect platform for your organisation, charity, business, church, school, sports team - anyone in fact - to share your fantastic achievements with the community.

We're here to get to that heart and soul of Bedworth, delivering local news and covering national issues that impact on your doorstep.

There will always be a good read on Bedworth Nub News - because it's about you.

You can contact me with your Bedworth news by phoning 07852 490666 or by emailing [email protected].