Many businesses are welcoming back customers as the lockdown restrictions continue to ease and are taking the safety of the public extremely seriously.
I do not underestimate the cost of adapting facilities to protect customers and staff. I know businesses have been working round the clock in preparation for this moment to get their premises ready and I’m really proud of their efforts.
Of course, no-one can guarantee new procedures will be followed because this depends on customer compliance but the vast majority of people in Nottinghamshire appear to be following the guidance.
As you might expect, there have been a few difficulties along the way.
However, the police have been exceptional in handling situations that could easily escalate and continue to strike the right balance between guidance and enforcement.
As pubs, restaurants and bars opened on Saturday, officers dealt with a number of antisocial behaviour incidents and made a small number of arrests.
No pubs were closed by police but officers supported a small number of owners who chose to close their doors early. There will be a period of adjustment and lessons will be learned on how best to manage the new measures.
There will also continue to be a large number of uniformed officers on duty during weekends to ensure people are safe and are encouraged to stick to the government guidelines.
I’ve no doubt officers will be kept very busy in the months ahead as the pressures of policing the night time economy and protecting public spaces return, alongside their duties to regulate the new health rules.
Most of us appreciate how difficult it is to get the economy moving again while keeping everybody safe. Covid-19 has not disappeared so if we are to give businesses every opportunity of coping amid these unsettling times – and retaining the freedom we have regained – then we must follow the precautions.
Our neighbours in Leicester have not been so fortunate and this should serve as a stark reminder how easy it could be to regress to the situation we were in at the peak of crisis.