Burnham High Street

Burnham-On-Sea shops and businesses have given mostly supportive feedback to the Government’s extended Coronavirus safety rules this week.

Boris Johnson announced a number of safety measures on Tuesday, as featured here, that are intended to halt the spread of the pandemic amid a second wave of cases.

With pubs having to close at 10pm and staff in shops having to wear face masks, Burnham-On-Sea.com has asked traders in the town centre for their views on the changes.

Ryan Andress at the Victoria Hotel added: “It’s quite a big change for us. The earlier closing times will affect business with eight hours of trade being lost a week. We are asking locals to bear with us while the changes come into effect with table service being introduced in line with the new rules.”

“We are a Covid-secure venue and will do everything we can to ensure the pub remains safe. We are 100% behind what the government is doing and will follow the guidelines to the ‘T’ – will just need the patience of customers.”

Paul Hale, manager at The Ritz Social Club, below, adds: “The changes shouldn’t impact us too much – we will all wear face masks, close at 10pm and introduce all the measures required to stay Covid safe. We are all getting used to wearing a mask wherever we go.”

“I do think the 10pm closure will be counter-productive across the UK, though. Drinking habits will change and more people will head into the pubs during the hour from 9-10pm, making it a lot busier and that’s potentially dangerous for spreading Covid.”

Ron Bashford at Truckles farm shop adds: “We’ve been using the face masks here for many weeks at busy times, so it doesn’t change much for us. I think it’s a good idea for shop staff to be required to wear masks. Anything that can help reduce the spread is positive.”

Andrea Leigh at The Pet Shop adds: “We will do what we have to do to keep customers safe – we have been using visors. I fully support the reasons behind it.”

Colin Morris at GW Hurleys, pictured, says: “I don’t know why Boris didn’t do this earlier in the year to encourage more wider use of the masks sooner. That said, we will be complying with the new guidelines.”

Raj Sansi from The Burnham Shopping Centre added: “All of the staff here have been wearing them and anything that helps safety is welcome. Providing the science is true, then the face masks give people peace of mind.”

And Megan at Sentiments adds: “It will be hard for some staff to wear face masks for eight hours at a time, but we already use them around the shop when we’re not behind the till. It’s a good idea if it helps reduce the number of cases.”

Lyn Lawrence at Sweet Shack adds: “I have been wearing a face mask from the start and like the idea of more staff wearing them to protect people. More should be done, though, to encourage people to wear them and keep everyone safe. Some people don’t wear the masks and still wander into shops and then don’t like being asked to wear them.”

Sonya Fudge at The Bay View Cafe adds: “I’m still looking over the new guidelines, but the new table ordering rule may mean a lot more work for staff – and customers could have to wait longer. We will see how it goes, but anything that helps safety is positive.”

What are the new rules?

  • Office workers are being told to work from home again if possible,
  • Penalties for not wearing a mask or gathering in groups of more than six will increase to £200 on the first offence
  • From Thursday 24 September, all pubs, bars and restaurants will be restricted to table service only. Takeaways can continue
  • Also from Thursday, hospitality venues must close at 22:00 – which means shutting then, not calling for last orders (in Scotland the same curfew rule comes into force on Friday)
  • Face coverings must be worn by taxi drivers and passengers from Wednesday
  • Retail staff and customers in indoor hospitality venues will also have to wear masks from Thursday, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
  • From Monday 28 September, only 15 people will be able to attend weddings and civil partnerships, in groups of six. Funerals can still take place with up to 30 people
  • Also from 28 September, you can only play adult indoor sports in groups of less than six
  • The planned return of spectators to sports venues will now not go ahead from 1 October
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