Relief as lockdown restrictions ease for indoor venues across Shropshire
Bosses at beauty salons, soft play areas, bowling alleys and other indoor venues have celebrated after the recent announcement they can operate from today.
Restrictions on business such as bowling alleys, skating rinks, soft play areas and theatres were due to be eased on August 1 by the Government.
However, plans were postponed for two weeks after a sudden rise in coronavirus cases in parts of the country – leaving many businesses in limbo just one day before they were due to open.
Belinda Griffiths runs JungleLand soft play centre in Telford. Back in March, Belinda was on the brink of having to close the business for good due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We felt that after all this time, the announcement was very, very short notice," she said.
"Well, extremely short notice. So we have now got to do a thorough deep clean.
"Obviously we have got to follow all the guidelines, and although there was safety signage up before we closed, we need to double check they're up to standard. I think we will probably open in around two weeks.
"After being closed for so long it is about customer confidence – we want a parent to feel comfortable that the place is clean enough and they want to bring their child here. We have closed this long now so let's get it right.
"But we are very excited to be open again and very relieved. There was definitely a huge sense of relief after the announcement. We thought it would go on until October, so this is great news."
Terrie Horton owns Beauty Boutique in Shrewsbury and was one of the many salon owners frustrated with the Government's decision to restrict people in the beauty industry.
She said: "Its great that we can open and we can get back to our full potential. We felt like we could have done it safely a few weeks ago really. It has had quite an effect on the business really, especially when we had to cancel all the appointments after the decision to cancel the easing of restrictions.
"We were fully booked then but we had to cancel them all, that was tough. Now we are able to do any treatments on the face, which probably makes up about 65 per cent of the business. We stuck to the rules and we are glad we can say we did.
"Hopefully now we can pick up some trade leading up to Christmas. All the PPE is already in place so its just about getting going now really."
Katrina Boydon and her husband Steve run the wedding venue and glamping site, Barnutopia near Oswestry.
Their first wedding under the easing of restrictions will be on August 22 when 14 wedding guests will sit down to an afternoon tea.
She said when the Government first eased the restrictions only to pull the plug on receptions on the Thursday evening they had a wedding that still went ahead on the Saturday.
"We had the guests staying as glamping customers and the registrar came up and carried out the marriage," she said.
"Then, instead of the planned reception, the guests all had fish and chips delivered and ate those outside their units. There was music playing in the background and they all said what a wonderful day it turned out to be.
"Our couples who were due to get married have been absolutely brilliant. They have either re-booked for next year or are going to go ahead with a small wedding and then come back to us next year for a big party or festival."
Barnutopia has also re-opened as a glamping holiday venue.
Ian Garland from the Kinoculture cinema and arts centre in Oswestry said it was re-opening the cinema on September 4, starting with 'Military Wives' which had to be cancelled before the lockdown.
He said it was too early to say when they would resume any theatre or live events.
Tenpin bowling run by the Ten Entertainment Group, which has a popular site in Telford, as well as Wolverhampton and Stafford, will also reopen to visitors.
Nick Basing, interim executive chairman, said: "We are delighted that we can now open and welcome back customers especially families and children tomorrow.
"We are fully prepared and looking forward to bringing people and families together and delivering entertainment in a very safe way.
"The Government has delivered extraordinary levels of support enabling businesses like ours to endure the crisis and emerge intact to restart and rebuild from here.
"We can, in turn, assist in ensuring that families and people of all ages can enjoy the bowling experience safely, together again."
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