IT’S ‘Freedom Day’ meaning the majority of England’s coronavirus rules and restrictions have been abolished.
However, while most restrictions will be scrapped, the Prime Minister urged the public to adopt a cautious approach to reopening.
Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference earlier this month: “It is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution and I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough: this pandemic is not over.
“This disease, coronavirus, continues to carry risks for you and your family.
“We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday July 19 to life as it was before Covid.”
Mr Johnson warned that July 19 “should not be taken as an invitation by everybody simply to have a great jubilee and freedom from any kind of caution or restraint”.
While face mask and social distancing rules are no longer required by law, some local businesses are opting to keep them and encouraging customers to still abide by the rules while in the premises.
Here’s what some East Lancashire businesses have announced about face mask and social distancing rules from today:
Blackburn with Darwen
Calypso Caribbean Restaurant in Eanam Wharf said they are “happy” to see light at the end of the tunnel.
David, head Chef and Director of Calypso said: “We are going to leave it optional for our team and customers to wear face coverings.
“We are so pleased to be able to open normally and start having live events”
The Clifton Arms, Grimshaw Park said: “Team Clifton all welcome the lifting of the restrictions
“Staff & Customers will not have to wear masks but some may choose to wear (Personal Choice).
“We will not ask you to check-in for track & trace.
“You can order /stand in the bar area
Celebration events , buffets without restrictions etc will be resumed.”
The Drummer’s Arms on King William’s Street are also relaxing restrictions. You can order drinks at the bar- but they are “unable to have people standing at the bar just yet” and encourage people to take a seat after getting their drinks.
They added: ”Masks are no longer mandatory, however they are encouraged when approaching and ordering at the bar and at any other time if you prefer to wear one.”
The Black Bull Inn, Old Langho Road said: “From tomorrow, face masks are no longer mandatory inside – but if you would like to wear them, please do, or would like us to when we serve your table, then please just ask.”
A spokesperson for East Z East Restaurant in Northgate said: “All restrictions will be lifted today but we are still running a one way system in our restaurant and we are keeping our sanitizer stations in place just to keep our customers and staff safe.”
Sunnyhurst Pub on Tockholes Road in Darwen said: We take a well-earned rest on Mondays, so unfortunately you can’t just walk in, unmasked and walk to the bar and order a drink…and then sit anywhere you like….BUT tomorrow (20 July) you can!!!
“From tomorrow all restrictions are lifted at The Sunnyhurst.”
Coal Clough pub on Coal Clough Lane said: So we finally made it! NO RESTRICTIONS!!!
“There is service at the bar and you can stand you can move about you can be in groups and you can dance!”
They also offer free pool on Mondays.
The New Waggoners on Manchester Road in Burnley is adopting a very cautious approach.
They will still be asking for face coverings to be worn.
A spokesperson said: “We are very cautious and concerned about heading for a free for all without any restrictions.
“We are continuing with the previous regulations although we will now accept reservations over six-but we will split them over multiple tables with distancing applied.
“We are continuing to ask for masks to be worn and table service and similar precautions to before. We will maintain reduced capacity in total throughout the building and return to full capacity gradually as we feel safe to do so over the next few weeks.
“We will access regularly to ensure our standards are above the minimum requirements and as always safety comes before profit.”
The Prairie Sizzler on Keswick Road will also abolish all restrictions.
They said: “Bar service will resume and we will no longer be taking orders at your table.
“You are not legally required to track and trace but we will still have provisions in place so that you can do, if you want to.
“Wearing a face mask is now a personal choice so please respect each other’s choices on this matter. “
Farmhouse Inns on Liverpool Road in Burnley said face coverings will be optional and so will Test and Trace.
They added: “No more need to wait to have your order taken or to go up for your carvery, ordering at the bar and queuing at the carvery is now back as normal from Monday.
“The rule of six is now no more, you will be able to book tables online for more than six people from Monday.”
Oasis Grillaz fast food restaurant on Briercliffe Road also added that they will be “operating as normal” from today.
The Aspinall Arms, Mitton, Clitheroe wrote: “For the first time in a long while, with the easing of restrictions today, you are now able to head to the pub just like the olden days.
“It’s important to us that we strike the right balance between loosening up the restrictions, whilst also being mindful of our customers’ and crews’ continued safety and well-being. With that in mind, we wanted to reassure you of a few things.
“We will, of course, continue with our high standards of cleaning in all we do. We will continue to sanitise tables between use and whilst there are no longer any restrictions, we are still mindful of the spacing of our tables, to ensure you feel comfortable.
“We’ll ensure the pub is nicely ventilated and our crew will continue to wear a face covering for now and it’s up to you if you choose to or not, which we respect.”
The West End Arms on Thwaites Road, Oswaldtwistle said: “The West End Arms opens today, with no table service, no need to book, and you can order at the bar!
“We will keep our QR codes on display and our signing-in book will be available- but signing in will be optional.
“Masks will be optional for staff and customers.”
The Crown on Whalley Road, Accrington said: “There are many things we will continue to do going forward to ensure especially when we are busy, including extra cleaning, waitress and table service if you want it and the app!
“Although there is no rules for social distancing, we will not be returning our indoor capacity to what it was pre pandemic.
“We will have additional seating indoors to what we have been used too but we are ensuring there is still adequate space in between tables to make everyone feel comfortable.
“As of tomorrow, we won’t be expecting everyone to wear masks when not seated or to sign in but per government guidance, we encourage to do so in enclosed spaces when busy.”
The Brickworks- Pub, Grill and Pizza on Hyndburn Road said face masks will no longer be mandatory, but guests and the team are welcome to wear one voluntarily.
They added: “Track and trace will be voluntary, QR codes will be visible at the front door
“Table service in the restaurant will be staying so there is no need to go to the bar and menus will still be single use only.”
Social distancing will be going but they ask customers to respect the people around them.
They will also continue to use the one way in, one way out system to avoid congestion at the front door.
The White Bull in Oswaldtwistle announced they are scrapping all Covid rules from 19 July- but will still ensure the safety of staff and customers.
They said: “We’ve had time to think about our rules moving forward after Monday 19th July. We want to ensure not only the safety of our staff and customers, but also create that ‘back to normal feeling’ we once had.”
“Face masks will NOT be mandatory, although we will support anyone wishing to continue to wear them.
“Track & Trace will not be mandatory, although we will keep the sign out for anyone wishing to check in.
“Sanitiser will still be available about the Pub & Restaurant and we will encourage all to still sanitise.
“We will continue to use Covid eliminating cleaning products and be extra thorough when cleaning down.”
The Walton pub at Altham said: Most restrictions in our pubs ease from Monday 19th July but there are still some things we’re asking you to do in order to keep our staff and other customers safe”
Some restrictions still in place include continued use of hand sanitiser, social distancing rules and moving away from the bar after service.
You will not be required to wear a face mask.
Sun Dragon Restaurant on Blackburn Road said they will not be opening their restaurant for indoor dining yet.
They added: “We will carry on with a TAKE AWAY SERVICE on Friday and Saturday between 5pm and 8pm. You can order via direct message during the week or ring us on 01706 230320 when we are open.
“We will continue to wear a mask and ask the you maintain social distancing wherever possible.”
The Blind Tiger pub in Rawtenstall said they are “going to play each weekend by ear”.
Posting to Facebook, they said: “With restrictions being lifted, we just wanted to let everyone know that we are going to play each weekend by ear.
“We have responded to feedback and we know how most of you prefer the table service and not having to queue at the bar.. so we are going to continue with table service and a mix and you being able to order by the APP, you can bring your dancing shoes.”
Buffer Stops, Rossendale Station in Rawtenstall said: “We understand that people still may have concerns and worries with the virus and the dropping of many of the rules, but rest assured your safety will always be at the forefront of our service.
“Mask wearing will now be optional for everyone. Many staff and customers will still want to wear them and we fully respect their decision to do so
“There will be no limit on table numbers inside and out. We do not operate a booking system so seating is on a first come, first serve basis.
“At this moment, we will not be adding any more tables into the pub, we will review this in time, but feel the space we have created helps people feel at ease when joining us.”
Table service will cease.
The Woolpack in Haslingden said: “Masks will no longer be mandatory, however if you feel more comfortable wearing one then please do!
“Test and Trace will always be available for those who wish to use it.
“You are now welcome to come to the bar, to buy your pint and to stand and chat.”
The New Inn, Bacup, said “face masks are not necessary but if you feel more comfortable wearing them then you won’t be alone don’t worry about that.”
They will also be getting rid of table service and you will need to come to the bar to be served.”
The rule of six will also be ditched.
Cross Keys on Church Street, Barnoldswick said: “Things will be a bit different around here and we wanted to let you know how things will work.
“Bar service will resume and we will no longer be taking orders at your table.
“You are not legally required to track and trace but we will still have provisions in place so that you can do, if you want to.
“Wearing a face mask is now a personal choice so please respect each other’s choices on this matter.”
The Green Man pub in Colne said: “We will continue doing our safe practise of sanitizing, keeping tables spread out & continuing to keep our customers in a safe environment.
“If you book in the restaurant we will continue all table service, if that is what our customers want (or they can come to the bar if they prefer)”
They added: “ Moving forward I believe that we all need to be conscious that even with restrictions lifted nothing has really changed, if anything we are all in danger of making things worse with our actions if we do not use some common sense, we must all keep in mind to have consideration for those around us.”
The Bay Horse Inn, Roughlee in Nelson have ditched their one way system and the rule of six.
They added: “Staff will remain in masks for the foreseeable in order to keep the pub running at its best”
“Perspex will remain at the bar and bar stools will be reintroduced opposite the bar
and staff will continue to maintain appropriate distancing where possible and will continue with table service both indoors and outside “
“Masks and sanitiser will still be available upon entry should people wish to use them, and track & trace info will still be requested but is optional.”
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