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Your guide to visiting Cambridge - and staying safe - as lockdown eases

About half of Cambridge's pubs, cafés, bars and restaurants are expected to be open
About half of Cambridge's pubs, cafés, bars and restaurants are expected to be open

Anyone planning to visit Cambridge this weekend, as more facilities reopen after lockdown, are being advised to plan ahead and to ensure they book food and drink venues.

It is estimated that about half of the city’s population will restaurants, bars and other food and drink businesses will reopen from Saturday (July 4).

Cambridge City Council, Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID), Cambridgeshire police and are encouraging people visiting the city to follow this advice:

  • Opening times: Check the opening times of individual businesses as they will not all be open on Saturday and some may be operating different opening times;
  • Booking policies: The government now requires pubs, bars and restaurants to record the contact details of their customers. This means that some establishments will need you to book your visit in advance. To avoid disappointment check with the business you plan to visit before heading into the city centre;
  • Expect queuing: If you are visiting at a peak time then expect some queues. All pubs, bars and restaurants will have a maximum number of customers they can allow in and limited space for queuing so arrive promptly for pre-booked visits;
  • Travel to Cambridge: You are advised to walk or cycle to the city centre if possible. If travelling by public transport, check bus and train timetables before setting off and remember to observe social distancing and that face coverings are mandatory for most people on public transport (see here for more detail). Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of three or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions;
  • Car parking: Check parking information is here and public toilets information is here
  • Litter: More litter and recycling bins have been put in place and litter collections more frequent but residents and visitors can help to keep the city centre and its open spaces clean and tidy by taking their litter home with them or using the bins provided;
  • Coronavirus risk assessments: All businesses have been asked to complete the government’s Coronavirus risk assessment and to display this in their windows. This sets out information about one-way systems, seating, changing rooms, counter screens and other measures to help staff and customers stay safe;
  • Cambridge central market continues to be open with traders using perimeter pitches only.

Council leader Cllr Lewis Herbert has also encouraged everyone visiting the city’s shops to wear a mask, after University of Cambridge research showed it can reduce transmission and keep the R number below 1.

How Cambridge's streets have been adapted as shops reopen. Graphic: Cambridge Independent (37677827)
How Cambridge's streets have been adapted as shops reopen. Graphic: Cambridge Independent (37677827)

People going into Cambridge will have to follow national safety advice:

  • Social distancing: Stay two metres apart or, if that is not possible then, one metre or more with risk mitigations, such as face coverings (mandatory for most people on public transport);
  • Keep left: Use the left hand footway or keep to the left of wider paths when walking in the city centre to help stay apart from others;
  • Practice good hand hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available;
  • Got symptoms? If you or anyone in your home has symptoms or are suffering from Coronavirus you must not leave your home.

Anyone arriving for the first time in Cambridge city centre can expect to see the following:

  • City centre stewards offering advice and help with the new management measures, including social distancing, wayfinding and other changes to the city centre;
  • Widened footways along sections of Regent Street and Bridge Street using temporary barriers;
  • Advisory vehicle restrictions on Market Hill to allow safe operation of the city centre market;
  • Fully pedestrianised areas and one-way systems with enforcement of traffic restrictions;
  • Signage to encourage people to walk on the left hand footway or left hand side of wider paths to help with safe pedestrian flows on narrow pavements;
  • One-way access to narrow passageways such as All Saints Passage and Market Passage;
  • New pedestrian and cycle signage to help pedestrians and cyclists navigate the city centre safely;
  • Social distancing floor stickers to be used by businesses to help with customer queue management. These are also in place in multi-storey car parks to help customers queuing at payment machines and to guide access to and use of lifts and stairwells.
The outside stalls of Cambridge market will still be open Picture: Keith Heppell
The outside stalls of Cambridge market will still be open Picture: Keith Heppell

Cllr Rosy Moore, executive councillor for climate change, environment and city centre, said: “The next step as we slowly come out of lockdown is that more of our food and drinks businesses, including pubs, will be able to start trading again from this weekend.

“It is something that many people have been looking forward to and we all really want to welcome people back to a safe and healthy city centre.

“However, I would remind anyone intending to visit that not all businesses will be open and those that are will have quite restricted capacity. So, the best thing to do is check opening times and booking arrangements in advance.

“The pandemic is not yet over so it is really important that we keep following the safety advice by; observing social distancing of more than one metre, wearing a face covering if possible, washing our hands thoroughly and as often as possible and staying home if we have any symptoms.

“If we all follow the advice there is a much better chance of avoiding a resurgence of the virus and further lockdowns.

“All of us who visit or work in the city centre need to do our bit to Stay Safe in Cambridge.”

Cambridge BID is supporting businesses with advice on a range of issues including personal protective equipment, customer queue management, guidance and signage.

Ian Sandison, chief executive of Cambridge BID, said: “I would advise people to not visit the city centre for drinks and food if they have not pre-booked. There will be significant reduced capacity at all venues and many will not be open this weekend.”

Chief Inspector Nick Skipworth, of Cambridgeshire police, said: “The constabulary has worked with partners to offer advice as the easing of restrictions continues and our night time economy begins to reopen.

“Our city centre neighbourhood officers will be on hand to continue that support over the weekend and beyond, engaging with people and encouraging them to adhere to the latest social distancing guidelines.

“We continue to encourage people to respect the guidelines put in place by pubs and restaurants and recognise that the pandemic is not over.

“We want people to enjoy themselves this weekend but to do so responsibly and we will not tolerate crime or anti-social behaviour.”

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