05:01PM, Thursday 22 July 2021
Businesses in Windsor and Slough have clarified their positions on safety measures as coronavirus rules eased from Monday, with the Government advising people to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces.
Other changes include hospitality businesses no longer operating table service only, while places such as nightclubs, cinemas and theatres are able to open to full capacity.
In other developments, Government guidance to work from home where possible has been lifted, and PM Boris Johnson also announced on Monday that COVID vaccine certificates will be required from the end of September to attend nightclubs and other crowded spaces.
In an interview with the Express last week, the Royal Borough council's lead member for health, Councillor Stuart Carroll, issued a warning for people to use 'sensible judgement' as the rules ease this week.
Businesses have had to get to grips with the new rules from this week, and Clewer community-owned pub The Swan, in Mill Lane, has said that its staff will continue wearing facemasks and be tested bi-weekly. It also urged customers visiting the watering hole to wear a face covering.
“We are back to a sense of new normal” said general manager Micky Foden-Andrews. “Restrictions have slightly eased now which means we can have live music.
“To keep things COVID-safe we have kept the seating at a suitable distance, and we are still very much COVID-compliant inside.”
The Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre in Slough has ‘strongly recommended’ visitors continue wearing face masks, which remain a requirement in spaces such as lifts.
Staff will continue wearing masks and sanitiser stations will be located across the mall, it added.
Empire Cinema, located in the shopping centre, said that it will be continuing with strict cleaning regimes and recommends film-goers wear face coverings. The chain has also decided to maintain a ‘level of social distancing’ within screenings.
The Old Court theatre, in St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, says table service will continue at its bar, and advised people to wear facemasks when moving around the building, although this is ‘not mandatory’.
Theatre Royal, Windsor added it ‘strongly encourages’ people to wear facemasks in Thames Street.
Windsor nightclub Atik, in William Street, is gearing up to open to clubbers for the first time in more than a year.
Stephen Fleury, general manager of the nightclub, said: “We know that young people can’t wait to get back to clubbing and are so excited for our launch weekend, starting Friday (tomorrow).
“It will be great to see guests enjoying a night out of entertainment and music. They are so desperate to get back to partying and we know there will be a great atmosphere, with everyone sticking to our safety measures and taking care of each other.”
Stephen added that nightclubs are ‘among the best equipped venues in the hospitality sector’, but raised concerns over the Government’s vaccine passport plan, reiterating that clubs were COVID-safe.
In travel, rail and bus operators have generally been encouraging people to use face coverings when travelling, and urged everyone to respect people's choices on the matter. Read more on that here.