Saturday will see many businesses and venues across Wigan reopen, having been closed since lockdown restrictions were introduced in the UK in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is anticipated that many people will meet up with friends at pubs and bars, which will be operating differently to prevent the spread of the virus.
Social distancing guidelines remain in place, which means there could be queues to gain entry and people will have to keep at least one-metre apart inside the venues.
There will be an increased police presence in city and town centres across the county, with Greater Manchester Police saying officers will take a “pragmatic approach to enforcement”.
In the run-up and over the course of the weekend, police, alongside local authorities, will be working closely with the licensing industry to ensure all businesses are aware of new licensing objectives and Covid-19 guidelines.
Police will also continue to run a dedicated operation to prevent illegal raves and encourage people to report any relevant information.
Superintendent Chris Hill said: “The reopening of business and venues within the licensing industry is possible thanks to the hard work of everyone who has listened to the guidelines. It’s been a challenging few months for communities and I can understand the temptation of excessive celebrations in response to the new easing of lockdown.
“However, there are still guidelines in place to prevent a second spike and it’s extremely important to continue to social distance and respect others.
“We have a dedicated policing operation running and officers will be taking a pragmatic approach to enforcement. They will continue to engage with members of the public, explain the guidelines and encourage them to be followed before using enforcement as a last resort.
“Enjoy yourself, but do this within the law and respect those around you. If you do go out remember look after yourself by staying within your group and planning how you are getting home.”
A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:
Thank you for reading this story on our website.
But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers – and consequently the advertising that we receive – we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.
Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted – as all independent research proves.
As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: “Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role.”
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news – not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.
We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support – and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE:
You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.