Stay cautious as city opens up again from Monday, businesses are warned amid soaring cases

July 16, 2021

Bath area firms are being urged to remain cautious about easing Covid-related measures too quickly as the country prepares for most legal restrictions to be lifted on Monday.

With infection rates rising again across the area, Bath & North East Somerset Council is encouraging residents to avoid crowded areas, if possible, and to continue to wear masks in busy places. Businesses should continue to ensure workplaces are well ventilated.

In the week to July 10 cases in Bath & North East Somerset soared by 56% to 749.

The council’s visitor attractions, including the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery, will maintain reduced capacity, with advance ticket booking, and visitors will be asked to keep social distancing and wear a facemask unless exempt while in indoor sections.

The council said this was in line with industry best practice and guidance issued by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

Also from Monday, anyone entering council buildings, including the Guildhall and libraries, will be expected to wear a face covering unless exempt. While social distancing will no longer be a legal requirement, the council is encouraging everyone to respect personal space as case numbers continue to rise.

However, most measures that were taken at the height of the pandemic to help with social distancing on narrow pavements and busy streets will start to be removed from Monday in line with government guidance and any parking spaces that were temporarily removed will be restored.

Council leader Kevin Guy, pictured, said: “Just because the restrictions are being lifted doesn’t mean Covid has gone away.

“Case numbers are rising, frontline NHS and social care health staff are still under considerable pressure, as are businesses and organisations. 

“So, we need to be cautious, look after each other and continue to minimise the risk of catching and spreading Covid. We’re also asking people to be respectful to our staff who are working to keep us all safe and we won’t tolerate abusive behaviour towards them.

“The good news is that we know the vaccine reduces the risk of getting very ill and we are urging people to get their first and second jabs and to follow the new guidance.”   

Council director of public health Becky Reynolds added: “While it is understandable that many people are looking forward to Monday with anticipation, opening is not without some risk and many in our communities remain vulnerable.

“We can all help reduce risks by getting double jabbed and getting tested if we have symptoms and self-isolating if the test is positive.

“We can also continue to clean our hands regularly, wear a face covering in crowded areas and have good ventilation in buildings – better still meet outdoors where possible.  All this helps each of us reduce the risk to ourselves and others.”

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