Calls for a #steadysaturday as hospitality industry reopens its doors

Visitors heading to Liverpool city centre’s bars, restaurants, pubs and cafes from Saturday 4 July are being advised to plan ahead.

In what is being dubbed #steadysaturday, council leaders and partners across the city are welcoming the gradual reopening of the drinking and dining scene, but are urging everyone to remember that Covid-19 still poses health risks and socialising will not be the same as it was before lockdown.

Due to limitations put in place relating to Covid-19, social distancing will result in reduced capacity in all venues which reopen their doors this weekend.

It is anticipated that the majority of restaurants will operate on a pre-booking basis only, and those which don’t require reservations will have an outdoor queuing system in place.

A series of FAQs have been produced on a special section of the Love Your Liverpool website to help people make a decision about whether they want to make the most of the relaxed lockdown regulations from Saturday.

These include guidance about what visitors can do to make the most of their visit and what measures pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants are being advised to implement.

This weekend also sees the start of the Liverpool Without Walls pilot which is a joint project between Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. It aims to support businesses in creating more outdoor space  to accommodate social distancing guidelines. The pilot areas in the city centre are Bold Street, where architecturally designed furniture will start to be installed, and Castle Street where road closures will be introduced to benefit both pedestrians and businesses.

For more information about the project head to www.loveyourliverpool/faqs website, and follow #steadysaturday #bekind #beresponsible #besafe on social media.

Councillor Sharon Connor, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Highways, said: “The reopening of the hospitality sector is an important and welcome stage in the easing of lockdown, but it’s vital we strike the right balance of supporting businesses to bring about a much-needed boost to the local economy and at the same time keep the public safe.

“Liverpool is in a good place at the moment but we cannot be complacent. We’re grateful to the industry for adhering to guidelines and putting in measures that ensure people can enjoy food and drink in a safe way.

“But the main message to anyone thinking of a trip to the city centre, or to other popular hospitality areas in the city, is to plan your trip. Pre-book where possible and understand that things will be different and it is highly unlikely you will be able to visit numerous venues in one outing.

“Take it slow and steady and do everything you can to minimise risk to yourself, those around you and your city.”

Rich McGinnis, who is on the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network Board and is founder of a number of bars and clubs in the city said: “It’s been a difficult time for operators and many are taking a slow and steady approach to reopening and gauging what others are doing across Liverpool.

“It will be interesting to see what happens not just at the weekend but over the next few weeks. Hopefully we’ll see everyone following the guidelines so we can keep staff and customers safe and start to bring this sector back to life.”