Small Steps

As the vaccination roll-out continues apace, the government is adopting a cautious step-by-step approach to easing lockdown.

From 12 April non-essential retailers in England were given the green light to reopen with strict conditions in place.

Great news for publicans with a 24-hour licence. Some took full advantage after feeling hung out to dry with Boris’ broken Christmas promise. Not waiting for dawn to break, crews returned to work with fresh brews at the ready. As the clock struck midnight, they threw open their pub doors. A minute later plenty of pints were being pulled around the nation.

Even though hospitality was – and still is - restricted to outdoors only, die-hard seasoned pub goers embraced the cold midnight air, gasping for a late night/early morning tipple or two.

It was estimated 15 million pints would be sunk during the first week of the grand re-opening. Beer gardens and car parks come alive, customers spilled onto roads and queues formed for a taste of yester-year. Some landlords have built gazebos and installed marquees to follow Covid-19 regulations.

People had become increasingly frustrated with the strict lockdown measures. Desperate to go out, see people in the flesh, sit next to someone, have a good ole laugh chatting over a coffee or enjoy a pleasant walk, easing restrictions couldn’t have been more timely.

Photo by Maxwell Ridgeway on Unsplash

After feeling imprisoned for seemingly endless winter months this latest phase of easing comes as a great relief. Many are soaking up the atmosphere, coming alive again with emotional reunions; others are simply relishing the hustle and bustle of modern life.

People are finally able to let their hair down and book a long-awaited haircut, pamper themselves in salons and spas, place bets at the bookies.

With the generous furlough scheme in place for over a year there’s no shortage of hungry retailers and services waiting for a chunk of the £150bn stash in bulging wallets.