Non-essential retailers, hairdressers and barbers, and pubs, cafes and restaurants with outside seating areas are all clear to get back to welcoming customers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson sounded the all clear on Monday for the go-ahead since coronavirus infection rates had plunged amid the latest lockdown and the vaccination programme is set to see all adults in the country offered the jab by mid summer.
Many people have been looking forward to get their lockdown locks trimmed and hairdressers have been busy booking in regulars and getting ready for the first cuts.
Sarah Smith from Opulence in Orchard Road in St Annes said they had completed final training for staff and the cleaning regimes needed to keep everyone safe.
She said: “We have done all this before after the previous lockdown, but we are all very excited and hoping that this is the beginning of things getting back to normal.
“We can’t wait to reopen and meet our customers and starting over again.
“We have quite a waiting list for appointments so we are going to be very busy. We will be doing extra hours to speed things up.
“We have clear instructions for customers and everything is sanitised and will allow extra time between appointments so people do not have to come into contact with other customers.
“It has been a difficult year for everyone and we are just grateful that we are still here and excited to be re-opening.”
Stacey McGinley from the Infinity hair, nails and beauty salon in Whitegate Drive said everyone was relieved to be able to get back to something like normal, particularly since they had recently expanded their premises into the former kitchens shop on the corner.
She said: “We can’t wait to reopen obviously, and we have been so many bookings.
“We have put in safety measures with a one way system, only four staff instead of eight at the moment, and screens around each customer, a bit like being in a goldfish bowl!
“But it is very important especially in a salon since it is a bit of a social occasion for everyone.
“We cannot wait for things to open up again safely because we have plans to expand, including adding a tattooist, offering glitters and a clothing range upstairs.”
One of the many restaurants opening on Monday is Stefani’s of Cedar Square in Blackpool which will be serving customers from noon outside.
Owner Nico Stefani said: “The team and I are extremely excited to see customers and have that atmosphere back that we’ve missed.
“We’ve been looking forward to welcoming back our old and new customers in a safe environment for a while now, fingers crossed for some sunny weather.”
Among the many bars and pubs opening their outside areas on Monday are six Wetherspoons pubs.
These are the The Layton Rakes, with its roof garden, in Market Street and The Velvet Coaster, which also has a roof garden, in New South Promenade both in Blackpool. In St Annes, the Trawl Boat Inn’s garden in Wood Street will be open and The Railway Hotel in Station Road, Lytham will open its garden. The Poulton Elk in Hardhorn Road, and The Jolly Tars in Victoria Road West, Cleveleys will also have outside areas.
Samuel Slack, pub manager at The Layton Rakes, said preparations were complete with test and trace in operation and hand sanitisers available.
He said: “We are looking forward to welcoming our customers and staff back after a long time away.”
Family-run jewellery business Beaverbrooks will be opening its Blackpool store in Church Street having put its social distancing and cleaning regimes in place to keep its customers safe. Managing director Anna Blackburn said: “2020 was a challenging year of adapting quickly to change in an already precarious retail landscape, and we are extremely proud of how we responded as a business.
“Our people have always been our number one priority and ensuring their safety and wellbeing has been the critical focus, whilst protecting jobs and livelihoods.
“This latest lockdown has been the longest, and toughest for many businesses, our retail colleagues and the general public. However, there is also a real sense of optimism among our customers and colleagues that this will be the final push.
“We cannot forget, however, that many retailers were facing difficult decisions long before Covid-19 and we expect these challenges will continue.
“ We hope the reopening of non-essential retail will give the industry the boost it needs and breathe life back into the high-street as we slowly return to normality.”
Chrissy Thomas-Griffin who has the Lingerie Lounge in Church Street said: “We can’t wait to get open. We have had so many lovely messages of support from customers during the lockdown it has been wonderful.
“I just can’t wait to get my work clothes on again and for the alarm to sound. It will start to feel like getting back to real life again.
“We are going to have to do some things differently for a while, no champagne for customers is one, but everyone is ready to go.”
Rick Taylor who has the emporium at the former Regent cinema in Church Street said everyone was keen to get back and meet colleagues and customers.
He said: “We’ve been working really hard behind the scenes at the regent and I’m sure our customers will love what we’ve been doing.”
Bars with outdoor seating on the Promenade which can open include:
The Beach House, Dutton Arms, Gin House, Ma Kellys Showboat, Terrace Bar, The Eating Inn, The Gynn, The Garden and The Lounge, North Pier Promenade, The Soul Suite, The Velvet Coaster, Yates South Shore.
Other town pubs with outdoor space for seating include: Air Balloon Squires Gate Lane, Bloomfield Brewhouse Ansdell Road, Boars Head Preston Old Road, Clarence Pub Preston New Road, Farmers Arms Lytham Road, Half Way House St Anne’s Road, Highfield Pub Highfield Road, Hive Church Street, Mere Park Preston Old Road, Mi Casa Su Casa Red Bank Road, No 3 Blackpool Devonshire Road, Raikes Hall Liverpool Road, Rose & Crown Corporation Street, Spen Dyke Lytham Road, Shovels Common Edge Road, The New Philly Family Bar Foxhall Road, The Counting House Talbot Square, The Layton Rakes Market Street, The Saddle Whitegate Drive.
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