A date has now been set, the 4th July, for bars and pubs to be allowed to re-open for business. For the leisure industry, this may come as welcome relief with punters having largely been away for over three months. Many punters too, aside from the odd bar and pub selling “takeaways”, will be relishing the prospect of a pint and a catch up with acquaintances, bar-staff, friends.
This doesn't necessarily mean that all businesses will reopen, however, nor does it mean that customers like us (yup, we're mostly on the customer side of the bar too!), like you and many others out there, will be going to a pub or bar either. We have to accept we all feel differently, some may still be scared to venture into public spaces, some are still shielding (either themselves or those for whom they care) and others may simply feel it is not a risk they need to take.
From 4th July onward, things are going to be very unusual. There will need to be some readjustment not just in a business sense, but also in the sense of dealing with being around people again and still in the midst of a serious pandemic. It's not just going to be unusual, it's going to be downright difficult. Some of us will likely get things wrong initially, but as long as lessons can be learned quickly and safe behaviours are observed, we would expect things to be okay in the medium-term.
Details and protocols are pretty scant from those leading the country, indeed the support from our government has been patchy at best, appallingly negligent at worst. It is different and testing for all businesses, and it’s important – now more than ever that we try to remember to be kind to other people. Try not to point the finger at those businesses that choose to open, nor at those that do not feel it is safe enough. We have seen some businesses we loved before lockdown fall by the wayside, we've seen others adapt and others just about cling on.
The ones that are locally owned, small and are intrinsically into our city and wider area are the ones that have been hanging in there and really do need you right now; you can be sure they'll do their best to open in a manner that's as practical and safe for customers and staff. Some of the bigger companies have not been so kind and reacted very badly to the lockdown with all its interwoven problems, laying off swathes of staff and not worrying about the effects of such behaviour on local communities and their people. You must ask yourself, does that behaviour deserve to be rewarded with your support and custom?
The stark contrast is that these aforementioned smaller companies have adapted, bringing positivity and relief to people. Making deliveries, working longer hours, changing their business practices in order to just keep moving forward. These are the businesses that have made sacrifices, the ones that have helped each other, us, the NHS, the ones that are what give our community its character. Now we need to give them some support too, if we can.
Now is the time to support independents.
Find some places you can support here: