Calderdale businesses are optimistic about the future ahead of 'Freedom Day'
Calderdale businesses are optimistic about the future as the Government approves the lifting of many restrictions on July 19.
The restrictions that will lift include being legally required to wear a face mask indoors, no limits on how many people can meet and pubs and restaurants no longer table service only.
Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “It is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution and I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough: this pandemic is not over.
“This disease, coronavirus, continues to carry risks for you and your family.
“We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday July 19 to life as it was before Covid.
“We will stick to our plan to lift legal restrictions and to lift social distancing, but we expect and recommend that people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet, such as on public transport.”
Businesses, along with many other sectors, have been hit hard by the lockdown restrictions over the last 18 months and many business owners are optimistic about the future.
Lesley Adams, co-chair of the Brighouse BID steering group, said: “There is a real air of optimism about the remaining restrictions being lifted on July 19, and life returning to a new normal.
“We know that some customers may feel wary about the changes, but we want to assure the community and new visitors that all the shops, bars and restaurants will continue to put safety first.
“Business owners are ready to welcome new and existing customers, and see confidence fully return to the high street once again. The support from our local community has been brilliant to see, and we can’t wait to see the footfall increase this summer, showcasing how much of a fantastic place Brighouse is to eat, shop and drink.”
Alan Rogers, of business networking group Todconnect, said: “The majority of business owners will of course be hugely relieved that nearly all the remaining restrictions are set to be lifted from Monday, July 19. However, many will also be very anxious about the current rise in infection rates. Not necessarily for themselves, but maybe for their family members and almost certainly in managing the varying attitudes and expectations of their customers.
“We would ask that people are very mindful and understanding of how difficult it may be to strike this balance and to please continue to use a face mask and hand sanitiser if they’d prefer that you do so.
“Please give them as much kindness and support as you can, particularly over the coming weeks.”
Shops were able to re-open back in April with customers told to wear masks and abide by social distancing guidelines.
Nicky Chance-Thompson DL, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust, has said that it is vital we all we all continue to be kind and respectful towards each other. She added: “People will be anxious and moving at different ‘speeds’ in this time of transition.
"We should acknowledge that and help them through what could be a stressful time. It’s been a tough 18 months, so let’s look out for each other.
“In the days leading up to the 19 July, we spoke with our own staff and the 40 tenants who run independent outlets, about how we can continue to safely welcome people through our historic gates. We will politely encourage people to continue to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces and use hand sanitizer, as will our tenants.”