Working together to re-open the city safely

The council is part of a partnership group which is working together to re-open the city safely. The group includes Sussex Police, emergency services, public health, transport providers and other organisations.

They are preparing for an anticipated increase in visitors from Easter and will co-ordinate operations on the seafront, city centre and parks, enabling people to continue Covid-safe behaviour to protect themselves and others.

The government has set out a step-by-step ‘roadmap’ for the cautious easing of lockdown restrictions. This began on 8 March with children returning to school. 

Act safely to prevent the spread of Covid 19

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “We are at a crucial moment and as the economy begins to re-open it will be more important than ever to act safely and prevent the spread of infection.

“Covid has not gone away, and the vaccination programme is ongoing, so it is imperative we all do everything possible to keep the number of cases down and keep the pressure off the NHS.

“We welcome responsible visitors and ask that they and residents continue the practices learned during lockdown and give space, wear face coverings and use hand sanitisers.

“Everyone is longing to enjoy the hospitality and culture that our city is famous for, but we need to get the balance right, with protecting health the most important priority at every stage.”

Managing the city safely

From 1 April the council, police and partners will meet weekly to co-ordinate operations to manage an expected increase in visitors from Easter. 

Chief Superintendent Nick May said: “Our number one priority is the safety of our local communities, and we are working closely with partners to ensure that the city will be reopened to residents and visitors in a safe way when restrictions allow. 

“We will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to adhere to the rules to prevent a rise in infections at this critical point in the pandemic.”

Businesses will have access to support hubs and training in Covid-safe practices.

Other measures include additional environmental health officers to support events, hospitality and licensed premises and Covid marshals to welcome back visitors and remind people of physical distancing. The council is also investigating options for additional toilet provision during the summer.


The council is now recruiting seasonal lifeguards and aiming to provide a full service from 29 May to 5 September. 

You can apply for the post up to 31 March.

Lifeguards must be fully qualified and getting a full complement depends on the availability of training and assessment courses, which continue to be restricted.

The lifeguards and seafront team will be used to provide the most effective safety cover across the 13 km of seafront. They will operate on the busiest beaches, with additional beach cover in West Hove, Saltdean and Rottingdean during the summer holidays.

Waste collections

The council is planning a strategy for managing high volumes of litter on the seafront and in parks. 

We’ve put 70 extra bins out already in high footfall areas. Extra bins and collections will be complemented with increased anti-litter messaging and presence of enforcement officers on the seafront.

More information

A report to a special Policy & Resources Recovery Sub-Committee on 29 March sets out how the council will work with other agencies and the hospitality, events and culture sector.

Read the report (Agenda item 48) to the special Policy & Resources Recovery Sub-Committee and watch the meeting live.

See our ‘re-open safely’ web pages for city businesses, culture and services.

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