Marshals, police and clean-up crews will be out in force this weekend to make sure people stay safe as pubs, bars and restaurants reopen.
Be sensible or suffer the consequences – that's the warning to not only drinkers but licence holders, who could lose that licence if they break the rules.
With pubs, bars and restaurants free to open for business again from tomorrow, Gravesham council's leader Cllr John Burden is urging traders and customers to behave responsibly.
The council’s licensing and environmental health teams will be monitoring activity around the town centre over the weekend, with business owners warned they risk losing their licences if they flout regulations.
Cllr Burden said that while it was good news more businesses were opening, the danger of Covid-19 was still very real and government guidance needed to be followed.
He said: “I know a number of our licensed premises have opted not to open this weekend, but many are. Our licensing team has written to every establishment setting out what they need to have done and what measures they need to have in place to allow them to open.
“Officers from our licensing and environmental health teams will be in and around town this weekend observing how businesses are managing their premises. Where they witness issues, they will offer advice in the first instance.
“But let me be very clear, if licensees openly disregard government guidance and refuse to engage with us, we will take all necessary action which could ultimately lead to licences being revoked.”
Gravesend’s town centre marshals, introduced when non-essential shops and businesses reopened, will also be on duty in the town centre until midnight on Saturday. There will also be a visible police presence.
With a number of pubs expected to be providing a takeaway service, there will be an increased council street cleansing programme running late into Saturday evening.
Cllr Burden added: “While I know a lot of people have been looking forward to the pubs reopening, I ask them to enjoy themselves responsibly this weekend and beyond.
“Coronavirus has not gone away. This week we have seen a local lockdown put in place in Leicester and that should be a sobering warning to us all that the threat is still very real.
“The last three weeks has seen our town coming back to life, which has been so good to see. It would be a disaster for the vulnerable in our community and for our local economy if people get complacent and we end up back at square one – in lockdown and with businesses closed once more.
“We all have a responsibility to each other and our community to behave considerately and responsibly, this weekend and beyond.”