Police and council staff will be working together to keep fans safe from Covid-19 when England take on Scotland in Euro 2020 today.
Officers from Wolverhampton Police and the City of Wolverhampton Council's licensing team will be visiting pubs and bars around the city to ensure venues are operating in a Covid-secure manner.
Infection rates have risen in Wolverhampton and across the country in recent weeks, largely driven by the new, more transmissable Delta variant, with latest figures showing 112 people in the city tested positive for Covid-19 in the seven days to June 14 – though the true number of new cases will likely be higher.
As a result, the Government has delayed the further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, meaning limits remain on the number of people who can mix indoors – up to six individuals, or two households – and that pubs, bars and restaurants still have to operate within capacity limits. Venues must only offer table service and customers should wear a face covering except when seated at a table to eat or drink, unless they are exempt for medical reasons.
Councillor Stephen Simkins, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "The vast majority of our pubs and bars are doing an excellent job in ensuring they are able to operate in a Covid-secure manner and we are happy to give them all the support they need to keep their staff and customers safe from this deadly virus.
"Our staff were out and about with police over the weekend to ensure that venues showing the opening England game were doing so safely, and were able to offer help and advice where required. And we will be doing the same for today's big match between England and Scotland to ensure that fans can enjoy the action safely.
“Our aim is simply to ensure we can protect as many citizens as possible while at the same time allowing everyone to safely support their teams in the Euros.”
Supt Simon Inglis from Wolverhampton Police said: "We appreciate that our communities have had a really difficult 15 months and there is now an opportunity to let off some steam and enjoy the night time economy and the football.
“If last weekend is anything to go by it is clear that people are happy to do that and still stick within the rules and comply with the restrictions that are still in place.
“Our officers attended many venues in partnership with the council and it was great to see that both the licensed premises as well as those attending them were able to enjoy the football and the occasion in a really positive way as well as keeping themselves safe during these really difficult times.
“All we ask is that you continue to do so this weekend and throughout the coming weeks and please see our visits to the locations as a positive step that is there to keep you all and your families safe. You being able to enjoy the football and the night time economy in a safe and organised manner is really important to us and so please help us to help you by complying with the restrictions, whilst enjoying the occasion.”