Why we all need to do our bit to keep St Albans open this Christmas
- Credit: Archant
If you want a relatively normal Christmas this year, then it’s going to take everyone in the district doing their bit to help keep St Albans open.
For businesses to be able to reopen and trade safely on December 2, they need us ALL to work together to avoid fresh restrictions.
An alliance of St Albans Independent Hospitality and Retail Association, Save St Albans Pubs, the St Albans BID, the Herts Advertiser and district councillors is now calling on local residents to help keep our district Covid-safe and open so we can #ShopLocal for Christmas.
The past few weeks have been dire financially and emotionally for our pubs, restaurants, retailers and cafés, as despite spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on PPE, staff training and undertaking rigorous risk assessments, they found themselves forced to close during the most critical time of the year.
Sean Hughes, spokesperson for Save St Albans Pubs, said: “Please stick to the rules, otherwise there will be a further detrimental effect on the rate of infection as well as potential fines. So if we are in a Tier where it’s one household only, please don’t book multiple household tables as this is against the rules and it puts the pub/restaurants and hard working staff in a compromising situation not of their making.
“Let’s all work together to make sure we can open and stay open to enjoy all our pubs, restaurants, cafés and independent shops of St Albans.”
Council leader Chris White said: “I would urge everyone to remember the basics: wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance - and self isolate when asked. That’s the only way at the moment we are going to get the district back to some sort of normality.”
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Cllr Mandy McNeil, portfolio holder for business, explained: “Many residents live within walking distance of our town and city centres and view them as their local neighbourhood. It was great to see families take advantage of sunshine and enjoying a walk through the city centre and around the park in St Albans and Harpenden over the weekend. Many were wearing masks and social distancing, and we would like to encourage all residents to remember to do so and to take advantage of all the PPE on offer at the shops, including hand sanitiser.
“Our independent hospitality and retail industry makes 60-80 per cent of their revenues over the November/December holiday period. It’s critical that every single one of our businesses can reopen on December 2 as the financial support from the government is not enough to keep them afloat. If residents can remember ‘hands, face, space’ they can help us to keep St Albans safe and our much-loved independent businesses open for Christmas.”
St Albans BID manager Denise Parsons said: “It’s really important that we all play our part and wear our masks during this challenging time and support our community and businesses. It’s crucial for our local economy to get our businesses open again and wearing a mask will most definitely help get our numbers down locally so please everyone let’s spread love not bugs this festive season.”
Matt Adams, group editor of Herts Advertiser, which has been running a #ShopLocal campaign over the past month, added: “Our independent retailers need to be able to trade during these crucial weeks leading up to Christmas, but they need your help to make this a reality.
“Taking every precaution to ensure you are Covid-safe when shopping will mean these businesses can stay open throughout the festive period, and hopefully recoup some of the revenue they have lost over the two lockdowns.”
For those residents who can’t make it to a pub, restaurant, café or shop due to Covid restrictions visit the websites of your favourite locals as many are doing takeaways, hampers, gifts and gift certificates. You can also ‘Stick One In’ and buy a gift certificate for any local independent hospitality or retail business in the district via www.enjoystalbans.com/stick-one-in