Hospitality businesses in Middlesbrough have been reminded of their legal responsibilities over social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Middlesbrough Council is writing to bars, cafes, and restaurants this week following concerns over people not keeping a safe distance from others in these settings.

Businesses will be reminded of their obligations to perform COVID-19 risk assessments, ensure table reservations are used when possible, managing queues and taking customer details for Track and Trace purposes, including arrival times and details on where customers were seated.

The Council’s Public Protection Service is also contacting and visiting businesses linked to cases to assess their health, safety and Covid19 measures – including the records of customers kept as part of the track and trace system.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “The response to re-opening has generally been really good and some businesses are showing us some really clever and inventive ways of keeping people safe and stopping the spread of Covid-19.

“We want to say to everyone in bars, cafes and restaurants in a friendly, but absolutely firm way, that we can’t afford to let discipline around safety and social distancing measures slip.

“Face coverings for staff are really important too, they can help stop the spread but also give everyone more confidence that they’re in a safe environment.

“It’s so important to follow the guidelines and it’s the only way we can protect people but also good jobs, good businesses and the whole economy of the town.”

For more advice on protecting staff and customers please visit or contact the Public Protection Service.