‘The light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter’: Chesterfield firms optimistic as Boris Johnson unveils lockdown easing

Business owners in Chesterfield are feeling optimistic after the Prime Minister announced plans to ease the coronavirus lockdown.

By Michael Broomhead
Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 12:30 pm

Boris Johnson set out his ‘irreversible’ roadmap out of the nationwide shutdown on Monday – revealing that non-essential shops, hairdressers and gyms are set to reopen from April 12.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes would also reopen for outdoor dining from that date.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Johnson confirmed that hospitality venues could begin to serve customers inside no earlier than May 17.

When hospitality does reopen, the Prime Minister said that social distancing rules would apply, including the rule of six or two-household rule.

From June 21, it is hoped all legal limits on social contact will be removed, with nightclubs reopening.

Mr Johnson’s plans require four tests – including on the vaccine programme and new coronavirus variants – to be met at each stage.

Dorothy Robinson outside her shop Dotique, which was named retailer of the year in last year's Chesterfield High Street Awards.

Dorothy Robinson, owner of womenswear boutique Dotique on Chatsworth Road, said: “I believe the Prime Minister is taking a very sensible and cautious approach, and I’m very pleased about that.

“We all want this to be the final lockdown – and I think people are now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel after what has been such a tough year.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming my lovely customers back in to the shop.”

Dorothy said her business is ‘so dependant’ on people shopping for clothes for things like events, holidays and socialising.

Martin Wallis-Keyworth, owner of Less Than Zero Barbers.

She added: “It will be great when all sectors of the economy are back open and we can all start enjoying our lives again, hopefully later this year.”

Martin Wallis-Keyworth, owner of Less than Zero Barbers on Soresby Street, said: “Onwards and upwards, Chesterfield!

“We are really looking forward to the vaccine roll-out continuing at pace and will watch with interest the opening up of schools from March 8 to see if Less Than Zero Barbers will be able to reopen on April 12 – as is currently anticipated along with other non-essential shops.

“It’s been a very long slog for businesses to keep afloat over the last year – but with the community’s help we are sure businesses in the town will bounce back to profitability quickly and everyone will continue to pull together.

Lewis Brown.

“We send our condolences to those within our community who have lost loved ones or who have had family members negatively affected by Covid-19."

Pub landlord Lewis Brown added: “Overall I am happy with the roadmap out of the pandemic.

“We can reopen The Hop Flower, Inkersall, and our new site The Little Acorn, Ilkeston, in April should things go to plan.

“Our site The Lounge, Ilkeston, is unable to reopen until May as we don’t have an outdoor consumption licence, which is a little disappointing.

“From a business perspective both the local authorities our sites are under have been brilliant keeping us informed on each stage.

“We have been holding on for a while and it is nice to see an end in sight after what has been a difficult 12 months.”

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