Senior police officers, councillors and local business representatives issued a plea for people to plan ahead, maintain social distancing and stay safe if they’re planning a night out this weekend.
Thousands of people visited pubs and restaurants across the Mansfield district on Saturday as they were allowed to open their doors for the first time since March.
The weekend passed without major incident – thanks in no small part to a concerted effort by Mansfield District Council, Mansfield BID and licensed premises to ensure appropriate safety measures were in place.
A small number of landlords voluntarily closed their premises early on Saturday as it was deemed unsafe to continue trading at that time. These premises have put further control measures in place to prevent any unsafe practices from reoccurring.
As with any normal Saturday night there was an increased police presence in the town centre to help keep people safe and a small number of alcohol-related arrests were made.
A similar police presence will be in evidence this weekend, and a dispersal order will also be in place to allow officers to order people out of the town centre without having to arrest them.
Cllr Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: “We’ve been working really hard with licenced premises to make sure they are safe for people to enjoy and I’m pleased the first weekend went so well. Signage is clearly in place across the town centre and, for the most part, people have respected the rules and adapted well to this temporary new normal. People have been booking ahead to go to venues; and they have been pre-booking taxis or arranging alternative transport home.
“Mansfield residents have been observing the guidance well, which shows in our low local infection figures. In many ways this is a team effort and it’s absolutely vital that we all continue to do our bit so we can get back to and maintain some normality.
“We have already seen how local businesses have suffered and we must do all we can to avoid a spike in cases and a second lockdown.”
Inspector Nick Butler, responsible for neighbourhood policing in the Mansfield district, added: “Last weekend went really well, I am pleased to report. We did have a few arrests – mostly because people had taken too much alcohol.
“Ahead of this weekend I would ask people to remember to stick to the rules, wash your hands and make sure you remind others in your group to do the same. We really need you to do that to keep Mansfield safe. This is about the NHS, it is about safety and it is about looking after the most vulnerable people – but also it is about making sure that businesses can operate and that we don’t go into a second lockdown.”