Northumberland shops remain 'open for business' as coronavirus restrictions tighten

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Shops across Northumberland remain ‘open for business’ despite the increasing impact of coronavirus.

While there have been clear signs of panic buying at many supermarkets, trade has slowed for other retailers.

Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade, said: “Although footfall is slightly down and it would be realistic to expect it to decrease more this week in light of individuals taking the decision to self isolate, some businesses have experienced a positive impact with panic buying.

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“Alnwick is most definitely still open for business and I would like to encourage everyone to shop local, even more so at these uncertain times. The big boys can take the strain a lot better than small business.”

Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade.Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade.
Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade. | JPIMedia Resell
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Lisa, who runs menswear business Hotspur 1364, added: “We are focused on hygiene and all cleaning programmes have dramatically increased. We are communicating regularly with members the Government advice.”

The Government is expected to unveil more financial plans to help the economy later.

But Coun Steven Bridgett, member for Rothbury on Northumberland County Council, said: “The impact of the current situation and the potential of further restrictions is of great concern to me, particularly as to how this will impact local businesses.

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“While the Chancellor provided local relief in the form of the removal of business rates for those with a rateable value up to £51,000, I am still of the opinion that this is not enough and it is something I am raising directly with officers at Northumberland County Council.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged everyone to avoid unnecessary social contacts, to work from home where possible, and to stay away from pubs and restaurants.

Anyone with a fever or persistent cough should stay at home for seven days if they live alone or 14 days if they live with others. Anyone who lives with someone displaying coronavirus symptoms should also stay at home for 14 days. People who have to isolate themselves should ask others for help

Everyone should stop non-essential contact with others. This is particularly important for people over 70, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women.