Shropshire residents speak of frustration and fear over latest announcement

Residents and businesses have been reacting to the Government’s new sweeping restrictions on pubs, restaurants, weddings and indoor sports.

Elaine Burborough said it is important to focus on the positives in worrying times
Elaine Burborough said it is important to focus on the positives in worrying times

A 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants, halving the number of guests allowed at weddings and a ban on indoor team sports are part of this week’s changes to the Government’s coronavirus strategy.

Elaine Burborough, 72, lives in Newport and enjoys visiting the High Street for coffee.

She said that even in worrying times people should focus on the positives and look after their loved ones

"I'm a great believer in listening to what is said and thinking 'well, I've just got to get on with it'.

"I think, possibly, [Boris Johnson] is placating people a little bit. I think the 10pm restriction is possibly not going to make that much difference, but it doesn't affect the likes of me.

"It's a nasty, nasty thing that's going around and we have to do as we're told, whether we like it or we don't like it.

"I feel dreadful for people who are losing their jobs, it's awful. I just think it's lives versus the economy. Where is that line we draw?

"I have to go along with what the Government say because they're in the difficult position, they haven't come across this before.

"People say now they are doing a U-turn, but they have to try things. If it doesn't work, yes, they have to do a U-turn.

"I am of the opinion that there is far too much criticism and a lot of negativity. You have to look at the positives, and there are a lot of them – the way people are responding to each other.

"I tend to be a positive person but I understand that there are people who can't be so positive. It concerns me that some elderly people might possibly, through loneliness or mental health, end their days on their own worried and frightened.

"You can't imagine these situations but they are around and I think you have to be aware of them, and help people where you can.

"You can't change the world but you can help the people in your community.

"We keep our distance, we wear our masks, we wash our hands – we're doing all the right things."

'They've been messing around with the landlords and restaurant owners'

Frank Williams, who is 24 and works in a bar in the town, was scathing of the Government.

"I thought that it's been typical of this administration. It's been very back and forth.

"They've been telling us to go out, go crazy, spend, and then now they're once again restricting it.

"I know they're responding to scientific advice which is great, but they didn't do that a couple of months ago when they introduced Eat Out to Help Out.

"They've been messing around with the landlords and restaurant owners. Really I think they should have been honest with them from the get-go.

"It's difficult hearing one thing and then hearing something completely different. There's not much consistency.

"I know it's difficult. I'm not saying I could do a better job – but other countries have done a better job."

'It should have been done a long time ago'

Paul Harper, 65, is a Newport resident.

"It should have been done a long time ago. Right from the beginning of lockdown, it should have been compulsory to wear masks inside any building.

"I think when [pubs] opened up they should have been restricted then. I've only been to the pub once, I just don't feel confident and comfortable enough.

"Unfortunately the younger generation are the ones who are transporting it now. They're going to take it home and kill their parents.

"I do feel sorry for people who are getting married that now can't have as many people around. But they can always have a party later, when things have calmed down, if that's the right word.

"I think we're a bit too late – stable door, bolt, horse, gone."

'I think we should just be getting on with it'

Amanda Simpson, in her 50s, lives in Brewood and works in Newport. She said the prospect of another six months of lockdown conditions was "mind-blowingly depressing".

"It's really difficult. I don't know of anyone that has had Covid, I've not really heard of any circles in my immediate circle or even my village.

"I think the 10pm curfew on pubs is probably aimed at the younger generation because my generation probably wouldn't be in the pub at 10pm, we would go for a meal and probably be done and dusted by then.

"I hate masks, but if it makes other people feel safe I'm willing to wear one for their sakes rather than my own.

"I've really got to feel for the retail industry. If I was a shop owner I would be pulling my hair out.

"You've got to be guided by the Government, you've got to have confidence that they've got the information.

"Aren't we better-equipped now to actually deal with any Covid-related cases? We've got the information, we've got the [Nightingale] beds, we've got the medical facilities.

"I think we should just be getting on with it, personally."

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