There isn’t a single person or industry that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected but the hospitality business has been particularly impacted. To an extent there are changes this week as some are able to offer outdoor trade to the public once again. Whilst we are still not able to dine indoors, many pubs, cafés and restaurants locally have come up with inventive ways to utilise outdoor space around their premises. Those pubs that are lucky enough to have a garden have managed to ensure there is adequate socially distanced seating to welcome punters back onto their premises. Those venues that are able to make the most of the outside space may also be providing food for their customers.
Signs and safety measures
Many have employed shelters to shield people from the rain and the British public has learned how to dress to make the most of time with friends and family outdoors so that they are warm and dry and able to enjoy each other’s company. This is a cautious lifting of restrictions so lots of signage for one-way systems and health and safety precautions has been put in place to adhere to guidance and make people feel safe. It will be May 17th, a good month away before restaurants without outside space can open their doors to people dining inside. It’s a phased return based on data but it does feel like there is a chink of light at the end of a very long tunnel.
Shutters up on the shops
The long-awaited reopening of non-essential shops takes place this week. Finally, we get to go inside a clothes shop and sift through the rails holding up items of clothing rather than trying to work out online from a small picture whether you actually like it or not. There is no doubt like everything else the clothes industry has been transformed by COVID-19 and many businesses have been able to ride the storm with their online presence although quite a few unfortunately have not made it through. The clothing business is one of those industries where there really is no substitute for seeing the colours, the feel of the fabric and the look of something hanging on a rail that you can physically touch. Granted many of us are buying clothing now one or two sizes bigger than before lockdown but there’s always been joy in selecting a new outfit.
Preparing to reopen for business
Our shops have been preparing for this reopening for some weeks. Most have items such as hand sanitiser, clean baskets and facemasks to supply customers at the door if needed and staff deployed to meet and greet. Instore there is lots of signage indicating ways of queueing, safe navigation around the stores and limits on numbers coming in and out. You can’t beat a shopping trip so let’s make sure it happens safely and we wish all the local businesses opening their doors this week for the first time the best of luck in their recovery.
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