Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a significant easing of lock-down measures for England on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 including the reopening of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants inside from 4th July for the first time since lock-down, as well as reducing the two-metre rule to ‘one metre-plus’.
On 20th March, all pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes were asked to shut in order to stop the spread of coronavirus. Since then, many cafes and restaurants have started offering food delivery and takeaways to generate income. Some pubs and bars have also been allowed to offer takeaway beers.
Liz Parkin, community engagement consultant from inNantwich, said: “It’s another big step forward and brilliant news for our hospitality industry. We have to now make sure we support our independent restaurants and shops, not just by spending with them, but by adhering to the relaxed rules so we don’t have to take a backwards step and further slowdown the other industries such as beauty salons and indoor gyms from re-opening.”
Denise Lawson, from Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge, said: “It is with mixed feelings that we are taking on the announcement today. Obviously, we are thrilled that in 10 days’ time we can welcome people to sit down in the shop and in the alfresco seating area.
“I think we will all be a bit cautious too. If at all possible, we will maintain the two-metre rule in our shop. Customers and staff will also be trepidatious. To follow the safe distancing with staffing we will have less people working day to day, which in itself will be tricky as every one of my staff are itching to get back to work.
“Thankfully we can keep staff on furlough and pay them for the hours that they do work for us from 1 July. It will ensure everyone can get back to work not just a select few. I think this is very important for mental health.
“It’s very exciting, almost like starting a new business as we have no idea what to expect. We have made the transition from almost complete closure, with Steve doing online sales to takeaway and then bookshop opening without too much trouble. We should be fine, barring a few hiccups, with reopening the Coffee shop.”