Shropshire's first taste of freedom at last

The Shropshire's residents have had their first taste of freedom as the government's 'stay at home' order was lifted.

People enjoying the sun at The Quarry in Shrewsbury
People enjoying the sun at The Quarry in Shrewsbury

Across the county people were able to meet up with friends outside for the first time this year, while outdoor sports also returned on Monday.

The changes saw people back on the tennis court, the golf course, in fitness clubs and just meeting up in the county's parks.

But as people adjusted to the new rules they have been urged to be cautious as the gradual rolling back of lockdown laws continues.

For many the relaxation of the rules has meant catching up in person for the first time in months.

Golf clubs were among the many venues able to welcome back visitors, with Bridgnorth's new men's captain Jez Wilson first on the tee at 8am.

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He said they had been "absolutely delighted" to get back out there after a difficult year, and added that he hoped life would be back to normal before long.

Other sports clubs were able to open outdoor facilities and there were plenty of fitness fans ready at the Shrewsbury Club for a 10am start to the first post-lockdown session.

Shrewsbury residents Lucy Bridges and Georgina Dorse had been training together when they had the chance while gyms were closed but said it was a real boost to be back out with other people.

Georgina said: “It was just great to be back and see different faces. You don’t realise how much you miss it until you can’t go anymore. It also really helps with mental health for people to be out the house and interacting.”

Lucky

NHS workers Matt and Becca Peck, were enjoying the sunshine in Telford Town Park with their two young children, and said they expected most families would just be relieved to have people round in the garden again.

Becca said: "People are meeting their friends again, it's been hard for some people

"We've been lucky because Matt works from home, we've been one unit.

"I think the main thing is going to be meeting in other people's gardens again."

People have though been asked to take a cautious approach to the new freedoms, with the county's police warning people not to waste the sacrifice of the last few months.

West Mercia's Chief Inspector Jessica Loxley Clark said: “The past year has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone and we are all looking forward to coming out of lockdown.

“However, having sacrificed so much it is important people don’t let their guard down now and continue to abide by the coronavirus regulations."

Chief Inspector Loxley Clark said their officers would be taking a "common sense" approach to the rule changes, as people get used to the new rules.

She said: “Our officers will continue, as part of their patrols, to engage with our communities and to explain the regulations that remain in place over the coming months.

“West Mercia Police will continue to take a common sense approach to policing and will use the four Es approach as has been in place for some time.”

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