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Peterborough city centre will see a new café style culture introduced over the summer in a bid to safely get businesses back up and running.

Early indications are that around 50 per cent of pubs, bars and restaurants will be re-opening in Peterborough city centre on Saturday, July 4, now that Covid-19 restrictions are being eased, but we’re all still being urged to stay safe.

Peterborough City Council is encouraging a café style culture to allow pubs, bars and restaurants to extend out onto the streets, such as Cathedral Square, Bridge Street and the Guildhall where possible to help ensure there is enough space for us all to keep a safe distance whilst getting out again.

Much of this is expected to take place later in the summer once businesses have got used to being open and the city council is currently work with individual businesses to allow outdoor seating wherever possible.

Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member at Peterborough City Council, said: “Like many of you, I’m really looking forward to a return to socialising (at a safe distance), but we understand that some people will be more cautious.

“That’s why we want to give you all the information you need to know before you plan your visit, including what to expect and what the city is doing to help keep you safe.

“For those of you who decide to join us, over the coming summer we are working with businesses to help you enjoy a morning latte before the day heats up, alfresco lunches and evening cocktails by sunset. Who needs a European break when you’ve got it all on your doorstep?”

Things will certainly be a little different and a range of safety measures are being introduced to reassure visitors to return and support local businesses. There is extra cleaning throughout the city centre and work’s been done to ensure there’s enough pedestrian and cycle space to allow social distancing.

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said: “The re-opening of pubs, bars and restaurants is great for businesses and our local economy. This will be a gradual re-opening and we will be providing support and guidance to help businesses with what they need over the coming months and to share advice on suppliers of equipment and best practice.”

When you do head into the centre it’s wise to check opening times as not all venues will open this Saturday and those that do are likely to have different opening times. Try and avoid peak times to avoid queuing as numbers will be limited. Make sure you check out the booking policies as well as the government now requires pubs, bars and restaurants to take your contact details. This means that some won’t be allowing walk-ins and may need you to book in advance.

And… if you need the loo while you’re out an about don’t forget there are reduced toilet facilities in the city centre at the moment with the bus station toilets closed. The toilets in Queensgate on Level 1 will be fully operational including baby changing, ladies/gents and disabled with increased cleaning. The Car Haven toilets will be fully open from Mon-Fri (8am-5pm) and Sat/Sun (10am-4pm), including ladies/gents, disabled and a specially adapted changing places facility.

We’re all encouraged to walk or cycle short distances so pop-up cycle lanes, wider pavements and more bicycle storage are being introduced. If you do need to drive council-owned car parks are still free until July 13.

All measures are being coordinated by the Peterborough Economic Recovery Programme (PERP), a partnership comprising of Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Peterborough Positive, Opportunity Peterborough and local businesses.

Together, the PERP has reached out to help city businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19, giving support and guidance on how to get started again. The measures, which aim to protect both shoppers and businesses from Covid-19, have been made possible thanks to the Government’s Re-Opening High Streets Safely Fund, from which it will be possible for the city council to claim back £181,500.


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