SOLIHULL Council is looking to re-open its offices, libraries and some other workplaces.
It comes after a raft of new measures was announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to end lockdown on July 4 – including a ‘one-metre plus’ social distancing rule when two metres is not possible.
Council leader Ian Courts said: “The council is now putting in place plans for opening libraries, as well as beginning to think about staff returning to our main offices. All businesses with offices are thinking about how they can make their workplaces Covid-19 safe.
“The council is no different and we are looking at changing office layouts to avoid face-to-face seating, improving ventilation, providing hand sanitiser and reducing the number of people in the office at any one time.
“All this will mean continuing the new ways of working we have had to introduce over the past months.
“In our public buildings we will also have to consider using protective screens and encouraging visitors to wear face coverings where appropriate.
“Hopefully, from 4 July, the many community centres across the borough will open their doors and once again become the focus for local support and advice.
“Similarly, places of worship will be able to open for prayers and services, including weddings with up to 30 guests – subject to social distancing, although, sadly, singing will not be allowed.”
Welcoming the re-opening of pubs, restaurants and cafes in Solihull with safety measures, councillor Courts added: “We can also start thinking about ‘staycations’, as holiday accommodation – including hotels, B&Bs, cottages, campsites and caravan parks – start reopening.
“It will mean for the first time since the lockdown began in March that we will be free to stay away from home overnight. This will be a lifeline to the hospitality industry in our borough and will also allow everyone to book a holiday and recharge their batteries after what has been a very difficult period for everyone.
“All these returning ‘freedoms’ come with an associated ‘responsibility’. We simply must stick to the social distancing guidance and continue to be mindful of the risks of catching the virus or equally of spreading it.”