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Ahead of the bank holiday weekend the licensing teams for Hampshire Constabulary and Portsmouth City Council are highlighting and thanking the work of one landlord in the city to help to restrict the potential spread of Covid-19.
On Saturday 22 August the landlord of Emporium on Elm Grove chose to close because of concerns around customers not social distancing in line with Government guidance.
The bar has subsequently introduced measures to prevent future issues. These include: having table service only to reduce the need for customers to move around the premises, movement of tables to reduce the risk of people congregating in particular areas, and a single warning system for customers not observing the guidance.
Portsmouth’s Director of Public Health, Helen Atkinson said: "Although the coronavirus infection rates are currently low in Portsmouth it remains critical that we continue to follow the guidance around social distancing, regular hand washing and good respiratory hygiene to keep it this way. All businesses have responsibility for safely managing their premises in line with licensing regulations. The licensee at the Emporium Bar made a responsible decision last weekend to keep his customers and staff safe.
"For anyone looking to visit a bar, pub or restaurant over the bank holiday weekend I encourage you to follow good social distancing measures to both protect yourself and your loved ones as well as maintaining our low infection rate in Portsmouth, stopping the need for any local lockdown measures. The pandemic is not over and the guidelines are there to keep us all safe."
Portsmouth District Commander, Superintendent Steve Burridge said: “I’d like to thank the licensee at Emporium Bar for taking such a responsible attitude towards ensuring that Government guidance is followed. This is an example of best practice that other businesses in the city, especially those with smaller premises, can look to when considering how best to contain the virus and keep their customers safe.
“It’s not just businesses that need to take responsibility though. This is a good reminder ahead of the bank holiday weekend that while we need to support our local economy, we need to be mindful of others and not put anyone at increased risk of catching the virus. If you’re on a night out please observe the government guidance and don’t put yourself, your friends, or other people in the same venue in a position where their health could be adversely affected”.