Public advocacy: “Please keep visiting pubs and restaurants – but do a Covid test first”

Community leaders are encouraging residents to continue going out to pubs and restaurants amid fears for Staffordshire hotel businesses.

As a result of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, many Christmas parties have been canceled and some venues, already affected by closures and restrictions, face a dismal holiday season.

Now senior staff at Staffordshire County Council are reminding residents that, despite the reinstatement of new coronavirus control measures in recent days, the country is not on lockdown.

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At a cabinet meeting this week, they urged people to support the county’s hotel industry, but to take precautions such as taking a Covid-19 test before heading out to see friends and family.

Councilor Ian Parry urged people to use common sense.

He said: “It is really important for the good of our economy – especially for the hospitality related sectors – that we do not overreact to this. We are not in confinement.

“The government’s strategy focuses on vaccinations and booster shots. This is what drives current politics, and being sensitive to testing, wearing masks and avoiding large crowds.

“It doesn’t mean that we have closed hospitality, that we have closed restaurants, that you can’t meet friends for dinner or lunch or a pint in the pub or a cup of coffee in a cafe. It is important not to assume that we are in a form of semi-containment.

“It’s about getting vaccinated or boosted as quickly as possible so that we can operate in a safer manner. Above all, if you are going out to socialize, take the test first. We have a responsibility to each other and that responsibility is to make sure you are in a safe place before you go out and mingle with each other. “

Council Chief Alan White said, “Times are tough for business; this is undoubtedly the case. I defer to the hospitality sector in particular which is hit hard by the latest changes.

“We are seeing canceled Christmas parties left, right and center, which has a very big impact on these businesses. I urge people to do what they can, when given the opportunity, to support the host businesses that provide livelihoods and income to so many people in this country.

“As soon as we can get back to it, start spending money in restaurants and pubs. It is extremely important that we support this sector as best we can, as soon as we can. “

Councilor Mark Deaville runs a pub in the Staffordshire Moorlands. He said: “We in the hospitality industry really know what we are doing and our only goal is to make sure that people who visit local pubs and restaurants during Christmas time do so with confidence and confidence. completely safe. “

Newcastle adviser Simon Tagg added: “Cancellations that come in for hospitality and all sorts of things associated with Christmas just kill business. It’s a shame.

“We shouldn’t frighten people’s lives, affect businesses and endanger livelihoods. “

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Councilor Johnny McMahon, a retired general practitioner, said residents need to come out to boost morale and keep the local economy going.

He added, “As a clinician, I completely agree with all of the previous speakers. We have to go out and have fun, but live within the limits of what the government asks of us.

“Get the vaccine. Wear masks where requested. Do a lateral flow test before you exit. If you do those things which are small steps and small inconveniences, then we can still enjoy life. “

Councilor Julia Jessel said: “It’s easy to forget that there are people behind these businesses – owners, owners, directors and employees. Having a good strong economy is really important because without it you have business owners who are terribly worried you have employees with the uncertainty of whether they have a job or not.

“As a society, we need to have time to have fun. It’s not just about supporting pubs, it’s about people going out safe, having fun and socializing.

“People are a little depressed. I’m one of life’s optimists and even I’m getting to the point where I never would have thought, almost two years later, that we would still have Covid hanging over us.

“At the end of the day, you can’t have a happy, well-balanced society without a thriving economy.”

Economics and Skills Councilor Philip White said: “Our economy continues to do well, but we are concerned about the challenges that the Omicron variant brings. Staffordshire County Council and our partners are here to help our businesses with the guidance and support they need during these difficult times.

“What we all need to do as the general public is to behave responsibly, take reasonable precautions, get on with our lives and have a little fun because it’s Christmas.

“We can have fun with a few reasonable accommodations to keep everyone safe. In doing so, we can ensure that the money keeps going to the businesses that need it. “

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