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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Working Together for A #SafeTameside Reopening

Friday, 19 June 2020


The struggle against the coronavirus pandemic took a new step at of the beginning of this week, as non-essential shops opened to the public once again after being closed for over two months as part of the national lockdown.

I think I speak for many people when I say that this move towards getting back to something approaching normal life should be welcomed, but the fact remains that the pandemic is far from over and it is likely that shopping will look very different for a long time to come. It’s also true that not every shop has reopened on Monday, with a number of businesses choosing to take more time to make themselves coronavirus secure. Many shops and services, such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, leisure centres and cinemas must also remain closed as the nature of their businesses make social distancing especially difficult.

Here in Tameside we want as many businesses as possible to feel confident in reopening, and as many residents as possible to feel safe to go out and shop. That’s why we’ve joined up with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the other local authorities in our city region to part take in the “Safety Reopening GM” campaign. This co-ordinated effort is designed to ensure that both employers and employees are aware of what they need to do to work and travel safely during the coronavirus pandemic. While a variety of guidance of businesses and individuals is available, I want to take the opportunity to repeat some of the most important points here.

 

If you’re a member of the public who wants to go out shopping then please first think about how you’re going to get there. Public transport capacity is still heavily reduced in order to comply with social distancing so if possible use a car or, even better, take advantage of the new infrastructure we’re building in Tameside to make walking and cycling easier. If you do take public transport, remember that wearing a face covering is now a mandatory requirement. The need for social distancing may also mean that people will have to continue to queue up to get into shops if they are busy. I know that Crown Point North in Denton was particularly crowded when essential shops were allowed to reopen on Monday, with large groups of people lining up outside the shops with social distancing not being observed. Please be sensible, remember we are still in a pandemic, and take all necessary precautions to limit transmission of the virus.

If you’re an employer in Tameside then you will be required to put in place social distancing and safety measures to ensure that that you are “coronavirus secure”. Exactly what this means will vary from business to business, but typically involves carrying out a comprehensive risk assessment, one-way systems, having cleaning and hygiene procedures such as handwashing stations or sanitisers in place, and taking all reasonable steps maintain social distancing. Individual owners who do not follow these guidelines may be fined or prosecuted, and businesses can be issued with prohibition notices or, as a last resort, made to close down entirely. If you’re not sure about whether your businesses can reopen there are a number of guides on our website here to help you in getting started. You can also get in touch with us at publicprotection-es@tameside.gov.uk and an officer from our Environmental Services will be happy to advise you on what needs to be done.   

As we gradually emerge from the lockdown the next few weeks are likely to be essential in determining how the situation develops. From the shop that puts down markers that allow customers to maintain social distancing, the office that lets its employees work from home, to the person that wears a face covering when they’re on public transport or outdoors, we all have a role to play in continuing to protect ourselves and those around us. The more we do, the sooner we will be able to put this terrible pandemic behind us.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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