How Alnwick businesses are preparing for April 12 reopening
Shopkeepers, hairdressers and publicans in Alnwick are raring to get going again.
They will be allowed to reopen from Monday, April 12 in line with the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade, said: “We’re ecstatic. It’s great that everything is beginning to open up again.
"It’s not a huge surprise that Boris Johnson said we could go for it as we’ve been keeping track of the data but there’s always that little worry so I was watching the briefing with baited breath.
"I’m really pleased that personal care places such as hairdressers and gyms can also reopen but we really need hospitality to get fully up and running again.
"That’s a real key for Alnwick so people can come and get something to eat and drink and do a bit of shopping at the same time.”
Beauty salon House of Elite on Market Place is ready to give it another go after opening last October.
Owner Mel Dial said: “We’ve already had to go through so many ups and downs so we’ve got our fingers crossed.
"To be honest, I think it feels so much more positive this time.
"It’s almost like a fresh start and we’re really looking forward to getting going again.”
She has introduced an online booking system which has been a huge help in getting organised for the big day.
"It’s made it so much easier,” said Mel. “The bookings have been absolutely crazy. We’re fully booked the first week back and nearly there for the second week too.
"We really think our customers are desperate to get back to a bit of normality and beauty and hairdressing is a massive part of that.”
Cafes and pubs can reopen outdoors.
A new marquee has been installed at The Plough on Bondgate Without which will seat 30-40 customers.
Publican Clare Iniesta said: “We’re lucky to have a terrace at the front but this marquee will really make a difference to us.
"I am sure the next few weeks are going to be a learning curve but we feel we’re ready. We’ve got a new menu with al fresco sharing bowls.
"I think summer will start on April 12.”