Alnwick business leader fears new Covid-19 restrictions will damage vital tourism trade

Covid-19 restrictions imposed on Northumberland have been described as ‘draconian’ by a local business leader.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 3:06 pm

Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade, is concerned the move will have a big impact on the town’s vital tourism trade.

"We are only just starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel after a really tough time and now this,” she said.

Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade.

“October and November is a historically difficult period for traders in Alnwick and this will not help in any form.

"All the accommodation providers I have spoken to had actually been quite bullish about the upcoming autumn season with more people coming to Northumberland for a staycation.

"That filters down to people like me,” said Lisa, who runs specialist menswear shop Hotspur 1364.

“We’ll have to wait and see what the impact of these restrictions is and whether the tourists will still come but, to me, it feels like we’ve had the rug taken out from under our feet,” she said.

She also claims it is further evidence of a north-south divide when it comes to decision-making in Northumberland.

"There seems to have been a decision that we’re all in this together but, as far as I’m aware, coronavirus rates in this part of Northumberland are still quite low compared to many other places.

"It’s a one size fits all approach and that isn’t necessarily right. It’s something I will be challenging with my local councillor and MP.”

Lisa added: “The inconsistencies to the approach are difficult to comprehend. For instance, I had been planning to go out for a meal with my team this weekend – the same time I work with for eight hours a day – but I can’t go across the road with them to have dinner.”

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