Irresponsible behaviour could see us returned into lockdown warns Harrogate council leader

Harrogate’s authorities and businesses may have been working hard at making shopping and eating and drinking in the town centre from this weekend a safe experience but much also depends on the behaviour of the public when the hospitality world reopens.

Friday, 3rd July 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th July 2020, 11:32 am

It’s something reiterated by Harrogate Boroguh Council’s leader.

Coun Richard Cooper said:

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Pubs across the country are looking to introduce payment apps, such as the one currently used in Wetherspoons as they prepare to reopen this weekend. Picture: Getty Images.

“Our retail centres reopening is a huge step forward. But we need to do it safely.

“To ensure that we can stay open and see restrictions lifted further we needed to follow those rules, to keep our distance, to use hand sanitiser and to wear masks on public transport.

“I was impressed by the measures in place when I went in to Harrogate at the weekend.

Harrogate Borough Council leader Richard Cooper has warned the town could be called back into lockdown if social distancing measures are not adhered to this weekend.

“But, if the infection rate begins to rise locally, we know that we will re-enter lockdown and that is something that businesses will find incredibly challenging.

“We have seen irresponsible behaviour locally during lockdown; a pub blatantly flouting the rules and people gathering on the Stray being two examples.

“It is difficult for us all. I understand that. But we must all try hard to support businesses and to welcome customers safely.

“We know that coronavirus is highly contagious and no business wants to be responsible for causing customers to become ill and no customer wants to take coronavirus into a business.

“It is, therefore, a team effort to keep our infection rates down.

“I know that to facilitate this North Yorkshire County Council has been in talks with businesses and Harrogate Borough Council stands ready to do whatever is needed in terms of licencing to help businesses use any external space that the County Council allows them to use.

“For my part, I think we should be ambitious and make our retail centres havens for pedestrians and centres of sustainable transport.”