Stay cautious as city opens up again from Monday, businesses are warned amid soaring cases

July 16, 2021

Bristol firms are being urged to remain cautious about easing Covid-related measures too quickly as the country prepares for most legal restrictions to be lifted on Monday.

With infection rates rising again across the area, the city council is encouraging residents to avoid crowded areas, if possible, and to continue to wear masks in busy places. Businesses should continue to ensure workplaces are well ventilated and cleaned regularly. 

Bristol’s rising rate of infection is now 559 cases per 100,000 population against a rate for England as a whole of 342 cases per 100,000.

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris is also encouraging passengers on the city’s buses to continue to wear masks.

Buses operated by First, the region’s largest public transport firm, will also display posters thanking passengers for wearing face coverings with similar posters available for businesses wishing to urge visitors to their premises to continue to don face coverings.

Mayor Norris said: “If you can, please wear a face covering to protect yourself and everyone else. A huge thank you to First for continuing to encourage the wearing of masks to keep passengers and drivers as safe as possible.”

“The government has messed up here. To me it’s simple. The question is: is it safer for everyone if as many people as possible wear a mask on public transport? And the answer is obviously yes.

“We’re seeing soaring Covid infection rates so it would have been so much better to require people to mask up. But as the government won’t step up it’s going to be down to West of England people.”

A recording of the Mayor on 460 buses across the West of England will say: “I’m Dan Norris, Metro Mayor for the West of England. Thank you for wearing a face covering on this bus. Together let’s keep our communities safe.”

Buses will also display posters thanking passengers for wearing face coverings.

A city council spokesperson said: “Lifting restrictions does not mean that the risks from Covid-19 have disappeared. Instead, it marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic where individuals and businesses must exercise judgement and manage the risks to themselves and others.

“To help protect businesses, with the expected increase of Covid-19 infections in the coming weeks, we recommend they continue to practice the Covid-safe behaviours we have had in place over the last year.
“Under the Health and Safety at Work Act businesses have a duty of care to their employees. Providing a workplace that is safe will increase the confidence of employees, reassure customers that it is a safe place to visit and will reduce infection rates helping to keep the business open.”

The council is also encouraging businesses to maintain good hygiene by:

  • Ensuring all staff and customers should clean their hands regularly
  • Cleaning surfaces that people frequently touch
  • Maintaining good ventilation, particularly in areas of poor air flow
  • Making sure staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue
  • Communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place.

Although participation in Test and Trace is to become voluntary, the council recommends displaying QR code posters to give customers the choice of checking in on the NHS Test and Trace app.

To download a mask thank-you poster, click here

Bristol City Council is holding two free Covid webinars for all Bristol-based retail, leisure, hospitality and close contact businesses. The sessions will be an opportunity to discuss the latest restrictions and support available with council officers.

Register on Eventbrite at:

Monday 19 July from 1.30pm to 2.30pm

Thursday 22 July from 5pm to 6pm


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