Pubs, bars and restaurants across Southside Business Improvement District welcomed over 10,000 visitors across reopening weekend (5th and 6th July), providing a much-needed boost for venues that have suffered significant financial impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

Julia Robinson, Southside BID manager, said: “All of the businesses that reopened over the weekend have worked incredibly hard to ensure that they meet the government’s Covid-19 Secure guidelines, with an absolute focus on keeping their staff and visitors safe. They have invested in a range of new measures including pre-booking and table ordering apps, social distancing signage, hand sanitiser stations, temperature checks and enhanced cleaning regimes.

“There was understandably a lot of anticipation surrounding re-opening weekend, but with careful and sensible management from our venues, coupled with a responsible attitude from visitors, we demonstrated that Southside can be enjoyed safely. It was great to see guests having fun and the fantastic teams from some of our most iconic venues back doing what they do best, we’ve really missed them!

“This weekend has been a positive start for our hospitality and leisure sector to begin getting back on its feet, but there is still a long way to go. Three quarters of our venues remain closed, and the economic impact of lockdown has been crippling for many. Reduced capacities and the impact of implementing new hygiene and safety measures are challenging and costly for businesses to navigate, and we will continue to lobby both national and regional government to provide additional support for the sector to ensure its future.”