AS restaurants, pubs, cinemas and other venues reopen their doors from this weekend after lockdown, the advice to potential customers is 'plan ahead'.

Public health officials say that, because ongoing risk of infection, necessary precautions need to be taken as part of the council's Keep Wirral Well campaign.

All venues reopening will have completed a risk assessment individual to their business space and made appropriate changes to increase public safety.

Such changes may include additional outdoor areas, queuing systems and increased signage for customers - but each venue will be different so members of the public are advised to plan ahead before venturing out, or wait a little longer if they can.

Alongside businesses reopening, new changes around outdoor gatherings, overnight stays and more will also come into effect.

Cllr Pat Hackett, leader of Wirral Council, said: "As our shops, high streets and night time economy begin to buzz again, it’s so important that members of the public are aware of the changes they can expect, especially if you're venturing on your first few trips out of lockdown.

"We knew from the start, that lockdown would be temporary - and the people of Wirral have done this borough proud in how they’ve embraced the changes to their daily lives for the good of our most vulnerable.

"But, as restrictions continue to lift, and venues begin to reopen, I think it’s vital that we remember the reason things came to a swift halt in the first place: we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and public health must come first.

"Coronavirus is still circulating in our communities and the best way to slow the spread and avoid a lockdown at a local level is to stay home, as often as you can.

"I'm urging residents to think twice before heading out, especially on July 4, and consider our most vulnerable.

"Please stay home - especially if you have symptoms - and avoid the queues, keep washing your hands, social distance with people you don’t live with and ultimately, help us to Keep Wirral Well."

The social distancing guidance, effective from Saturday, is as follows:

  • You can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households outside, following social distancing guidelines
  • You can now meet in groups of two households indoors or outdoors, and you do not always have to meet with the same household, but you must maintain social distance
  • You can only gather outdoors in a group of more than six people if everyone there is from no more than two households
  • You can stay overnight away from home, with your own household/ support bubble or with members of one other household as long as social distancing measures are maintained.
  • Only visit a venue in a group of no more than two households, or if it is outdoors then with a group of up to six people from different households
  • Do not interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending these places with even if you see other people you know
  • It is against the law to be in groups larger than 30, except for in a very limited set of circumstances. This means the police will have the power to break up groups of people larger than 30.
  • You should avoid sharing a private vehicle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble as you will not be able to keep to strict social distancing guidelines - important for sharing lifts/ taxis to venues.

Council leader Pat Hackett's video message can be viewed here: