Warning to drinkers ahead of first weekend of pub gardens reopening

Emily Curtis with manager Paul Stewart. The Masons Arms pub in Bury St Edmunds are getting their bee

Drinkers at the Mason Arms in Bury St Edmunds. Pub gardens are preparing for their first weekend open after lockdown - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"Let's not be complacent" - that is the warning police have issued to drinkers as Suffolk's pub gardens prepare for their first weekend open after lockdown.

Covid measures were further eased on Monday as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown, with hospitality venues permitted to serve customers outside.

With many people expected to take advantage of the chance to meet with family and friends, police have urged punters to show caution and awareness by sticking to social distancing guidelines.

Officers are asking people to enjoy themselves in a safe and responsible manner and also respect and adhere to the instructions of pub staff.

Police will also be patrolling hospitality venues across the county to ensure the rules are followed.

Suffolk police has confirmed the focus this weekend will be on large indoor gatherings, such as parties and illegal raves, with officers ordered to quickly close down any illegal events.

Supt Simon Mills has issued a plea to the community ahead of pub gardens' first weekend in business for several months.

He said: "We have come so far as a county in the fight against coronavirus so let’s not become complacent and risk undermining what we’ve achieved so far.

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"Regardless of what the weather brings, it is likely that pub gardens and outdoor drinking spaces will be busy, this being the first weekend under the new regulations.

"People visiting such places need to remember that despite the re-opening of venues restrictions still exist around gatherings and the use of face coverings. Additionally, whilst licensed premises have reopened people should keep themselves and others safe.

"As restaurants, pubs and bars reopen officers will be visible on patrol to ensure that guidelines for businesses, and the public are adhered to, and Suffolk Constabulary is committed to continuing with the 4 E model of engaging, explaining, encouraging and only using enforcement where necessary continuing.

"These changes provide people with more options to go out, visiting pubs and certain attractions, but  be vigilant of the spread of the virus. There are still rules in place and it is vital people continue to follow them, for their safety and the safety of others."

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