THAMES Valley Police (TVP) have issued a statement ahead of this weekend's reopening of pubs and bars.

This Saturday (July 4), drinking establishments will join restaurants in opening doors for the first time in three months following the coronavirus lockdown.

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TVP want to encourage everyone to enjoy themselves safely and responsibly.

Head of Local Policing, chief superintendent Christian Bunt, said: "After over three months of social restrictions, we understand that people will want to go out and enjoy themselves when lockdown restrictions ease further on Saturday.

"As these restrictions are lifted however, the public have an even greater responsibility to adhere to the government guidance around social distancing and hygiene and play their part in stopping the spread of Coronavirus.

"Covid-19 still presents a significant threat to public health, as highlighted by the local lockdown seen in Leicester this week, and we must all continue to respect the measures in place to protect lives.

"As with any expected busy weekend, TVP has a comprehensive plan in place with officers visible in our cities and town centres, as well as extra resources and officers available to respond to any disorder or criminality, wherever they are needed.

"And whilst we have no powers to enforce social distancing, restrictions around gatherings are still in place and we will break up illegal events and take action against those who organise them."

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He added that the force is working with local authorities to support their plans to manage the number of people out and about.

In some areas, entry to bars and restaurants will only be possible if people pre-book a table. Pre-planning travel is also recommended by TVP.

Chief Christian Bunt added: "We would also ask that people are mindful of the potential impact they could have on the emergency services and urge people to drink responsibly.

"We want everyone to have a great time and enjoy themselves but please stay safe and adhere to the public health measures in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus."