Lockdown changes: 'Show your Shropshire spirit and shop local' plea as businesses reopen

A rallying cry has been made for people to ‘show your Shropshire spirit’ and support local shops and businesses as they reopen today.

The Boathouse in Shrewsbury is ready to welcome back customers
The Boathouse in Shrewsbury is ready to welcome back customers

Pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops are among the businesses that were allowed to reopen, in a major step of easing lockdown measures.

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce chairman Richard Sheehan said it was an important chance to boost the local firms which have faced months in the wilderness.

He said: “There is an opportunity for the people of Shropshire to show our Shropshire spirit once again and to make sure the Shropshire pound continues to circulate around the local business community.

"I urge people to support local businesses, even when looking online. If you can source a similar product or even the same product, more the better. It may cost a little bit extra, but it's worth making sure they invest in the local business community because you either use it or lose it.

"Businesses have been investing significantly in preparing for this day, and have spent a lot of time and effort to be Covid-secure."

Richard Sheehan

The county’s bar staff have been feverishly getting open air spaces ready for the highly-anticipated return of their customers for the first time in four months.

They don’t yet have to contend with asking for Covid passports, though they could play a part in the hospitality sector further down the line. Instead venues will run with track and trace systems.

One of the venues where workers can’t wait to fling open the door again is The Boathouse in Shrewsbury.

Rachael Chidlow, owner of the picturesque riverside pub in New Street, said: “When you shut down for so long it’s exciting to come back. It’s like a new opening.”

Meanwhile schools in Wales are also set to fully reopen today and some travel restrictions will be lifted. University campuses will welcome back students for some face-to-face learning. Wedding venue “show-arounds” by appointment will also be allowed.

Restrictions on travel in and out of Wales are today lifted but people will not be able to journey to countries outside of the Common Travel area – the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland – without a reasonable excuse.

It comes after the Welsh Government announced last week it would be accelerating parts of its lockdown exit programme.

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