A council has confirmed that its staff will be in Watford "monitoring the situation" when pubs and restaurants open on Saturday.

Watford Borough Council said that staff will be out "all over the weekend" as more businesses in the town reopen for the first time in months.

Pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes were forced to close at the end of March when the coronavirus lockdown was brought into effect by the Government.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week that they can reopen on July 4 with measures in place in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Watford's council says that staff will be out across the borough this weekend to offer support for businesses to "help manage the reopening" and will be gathering information to "make sure we are continuing to adapt our support for businesses as needed".

Staff will not be meeting and greeting and offering advice to people on the street, although the council says it has planned a "big social media campaign" to push out advice and information.

It added that throughout the weekend "staff will be monitoring the situation" of how the reopening goes in the town.

Chief Executive of Watford BID Maria Manion said: “The restaurants and bars are an important part of Watford and are vital to our local economy.

"We look forward to welcoming back people into the town. Over the past few weeks, the businesses have worked hard to try and ensure that people feel welcomed and safe when returning with friends and family.

"We would encourage people to support our businesses, and enjoy the town, but please act responsibly and stay safe.”

The council has been working closely with the town’s restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars in a bid to help them get ready to "safely reopen" to the public.

To keep Covid-19 infection rates down, businesses that are reopening will have to do so with strict new measures in place.

This includes limiting the amount of people inside at one time. The council said that many of the town’s restaurants and bars are running a booking system and have urged people to book in advance to "avoid disappointment".

Only two households or bubbles should meet inside a venue, while no more than six people should meet if sitting outside.

Businesses will also ask people to give personal details when entering the premises. This information will only be kept for a short while but it is key to the NHS tracing someone if they have been at risk of contracting the virus.

Most venues will also operate a table-only service and contactless payments may be the only way to pay.

Ahead of the reopening on Saturday, Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: "This has been a difficult time for many local businesses and so I’m pleased that pubs, bars and restaurants in Watford can now re-open. Our Environmental Health Team have been working incredibly hard with local businesses to prepare for this and I am very grateful for their hard work.

"Pubs and bars have taken tremendous steps to operate safely and we want to be as flexible as possible to help where we can. I would urge everyone in our town to continue to stay safe and consider others over the weekend. We are all looking forward to welcoming back our pubs, cafes and restaurants and need to do this in a safe way.”

The council has issued the following advice:

• Keep your distance from other households or bubbles – 2m

• Wash or sanitise your hands regularly

• Only meet in the allowed groups

• Stay at home if you don’t feel well

• Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces

• Know your limits and drink responsibly