PEOPLE in Redditch and Studley raised a glass to the reopening of pub and restaurant gardens today as the country enters the next phase of easing lockdown.
Non-essential shops, gyms and hair salons have also opened for the first time in over three months in what has been a torrid time for many businesses.
The ‘rule of six’ applies outside to anyone wanting to eat and drink at bars, pubs and restaurants. And customers must individually sign in at hospitality venues by using the NHS Covid-19 app.
Bar manager at the Duck Inn pub on Pheasant Lane, Alice, said: “It has been difficult because the guidelines have changed so many times (during the pandemic), but we have adapted and we’re really happy to welcome customers back into our garden space.
“We are only opening four days a week at the minute, Thursday to Sunday, but that could change in the near future.”
The Boot Inn in Studley said it was delighted to welcome customers back to its ‘beautiful summer garden’ and is taking bookings on its website.
And the owner of Chaps Barbers in Mount Pleasant, Dan Nurthen, said it’s fantastic to see his customers face-to-face again.
“It’s brilliant to be back up and running, we’ve been rammed all day,” he said.
“It’s great just to be able to talk to my customers again and everyone seems really happy with the pubs also being back open.”
When asked if he’s found it tough over the last few months, Dan said: “It’s definitely not been ideal, but it has been tough and a difficult time for everyone.”
There were fewer than 40 Covid-19 cases recorded in Redditch in the seven days leading up to April 6.
Studley numbers remain low, with government data showing there are fewer than three cases.
More than 32million people across the country have been vaccinated.
Simon Wilkes, head of service at Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said: “We have contacted businesses to remind them of the measures they need to put in place.
“From revisiting risk assessments and deep cleans to ensuring efficient ventilation in the premises and encouraging staff to take lateral flow tests.
“These actions should become a part of a daily routine to keep everybody safe.”