Alnwick traders call on shoppers to respect others when restrictions lifted
Shoppers are being asked to think about others when Covid restrictions are lifted.
That is the message from Alnwick traders as the so-called Freedom Day approaches on Monday, July 19.
Fiona Nelson-van Loon, owner of Ruby Tuesday on Narrowgate, said: “For me I think the most important thing is to remember to still think about others...not everyone feels comfortable with the lifting of restrictions, or may have serious health concerns.
"It's fabulous to see our streets and business bustling though and Northumberland is clearly a hotspot for UK holiday makers which is super for business.
"Hand sanitiser will still be available in my shop and I will retain the maximum number - purely so that customers are able to browse comfortably, continuing to wear a face covering will of course be no problem at all for customers or staff.”
Butcher Mark Turnbull, who runs a high street shop and the Northumbrian Food Hall on the Willowburn Retail Park, added: “We will continue to take a cautious approach to the lifting of restrictions as per government advice.
"Our team will continue to wear face coverings and we will continue to limit numbers in-store to allow for a continued comfortable shopping experience for our customers and team alike.
"We won’t insist on customers wearing face covering, although we will ask them to respect other customers and trust common sense will prevail.
"We feel a lot of our customers will initially be looking for some kind of safety measures to be in place and that is what we want to deliver.”
North East council bosses are also urging the public to take care following a steep rise in the number of cases across the region.
A statement from the LA7 group – which includes the leaders of Sunderland, Durham, South Tyneside, Northumberland, Newcastle and Gateshead, as well as the North Tyneside and North of Tyne Mayors and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness – is calling on people not to forget what needs to be done.
“We all have a part to play in making this work and keeping our communities safe,” it says.
“July 19 has been dubbed ‘Freedom Day’, however it is important to remember that we are still seeing a significant number of new cases every day and we need to continue to be cautious.
The statement urges everyone who can be vaccinated to get the jab: “This next phase of the Government’s response to the pandemic relies on a wall of immunity being built to protect the population, primarily through vaccinations.
“There is still the risk that people who have not been vaccinated become ill and it remains essential that everybody comes forward for both doses of a vaccine. We know vaccines protect most of us from serious illness and help to reduce infections, and their effectiveness increases as more people are administered with jabs.
And it reminds people about the guidance that remains in place: “A slow and steady approach is the safest option.
“The restrictions we have become accustomed to are about to be lifted, but we are not heading back to life as we knew it.
"We will need to continue to work together to carry on saving lives and protecting our communities.”